Former Aggie star Chari Hawkins earns Olympic bid at U.S. Trials | Sports

A lifelong dream became a reality Monday evening for the former Utah State and five-time All-American track & field star Chari Hawkins as she crossed the finish line in the 800 meters, the final leg of the seven-event heptathlon. She will be going to Paris to compete in the 2024 Olympic games.

Hawkins finished seventh among here competitors in that 800-meter race, but throughout all seven events she finished with the second-best score of 6,456, the lone athlete ahead of her being Anna Hall who is ranked first in the world in the category. Hawkins’ score is just shy of the Olympic Standard of 6,480, the number that would have fully guaranteed entry into the Paris games. As things stand now, Hawkins will have to rely on her world ranking to get in. But with her ranking of No. 12 overall (and No. 2 among U.S. athletes by the same metric), Hawkins is all but assured a spot in this year’s Olympic games.

Throughout the several days of events, Hawkins never fell outside the top three. The first three events, the 100 hurdles, high jump and shot put, were her stronger ones and following that trio, Hawkins stood atop the 18-strong field of athletes. That lead wouldn’t hold after Hawkins struggled in the 200 meters and long jump where she placed 10th and 11th in the two events, respectively.

US Track Trials

Chari Hawkins competes in the women’s heptathlon javelin throw during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials Monday, June 24, 2024, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Following that drop, Hawkins needed strong showings in the final two events to hold off Taliyah Brooks and Michelle Atherley. Hawkins responded to that challenge with two consecutive personal bests, the first being a throw of _161-8 (49.28 meters) in the javelin, the penultimate event, which sent her back into a comfortable second. Not content with that success, Hawkins then clocked in a 2:14.76 in the 800 meters, not the best in the field, but plenty to remain ahead of the rest of the competition and secure second overall.

The two personal bests in javelin and the 800 meters weren’t the only new PBs Hawkins set on Sunday/Monday. She also set a new personal record by throwing 48 feet 1.75 inches (14.67 meters). Those three along with the overall score being a new high, Hawkins set four new personal records across two days.

Two other current and former Aggies participated in the trials — current USU athlete Logan Hammer and former-athlete-now-assistant-coach-at-USU Dillon Maggard. Both failed to qualify in their respective events on Friday, though Maggard is still an entrant in a race which will take place later this week. Hammer tied for 20th in the first round, he needed to reach the top 12 to advance to Sunday’s qualifying final. Maggard did not finish his race in the 10,000 meters.

Hammer, who recently earned Second Team All-American honors at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, cleared the first bar set at 5.40 meters on his first try but couldn’t make it over 5.50 in the second round in his three attempts. At least twice this past season Hammer cleared at least 5.50, such as his 5.53 at the Robinson Invitational and his personal best 5.62 which won him a Mountain West championship.

Utah State pole vaulter Logan Hammer joins the Full Court Press to discuss his stellar sophomore season. He won five meet titles this year including the Mountain West Outdoor Championships and took 16th at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships.

Maggard made it past the 6,400 mark in the 10,000 meters, doing so in the 16th-fastest time among the 23 runners still in the race at that time. However, he dropped out after that point. Through the first 1,200 meters of the race Maggard had been running a inside the top five, but as the race progressed he dropped further and further toward the back of the pack.

Though the 10,000 meter qualifying didn’t end well for Maggard, he still has an opportunity in the 5,000 meter race which he qualified to compete in. The first heat will take place Thursday at 9 p.m. MT.

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