Trojan track stars invited to compete in Olympics

USC senior Bryshon Nellum and sophomore Josh Mance qualified for the U.S. Olympic team after their efforts at the U.S. track & field Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., on Sunday.

Nellum, who suffered gunshot wounds to each of his thighs and his left hamstring in 2008, placed third in the 400-meter dash with a personal record of 44.8 seconds.

Heading to London · Senior Bryshon Nellum will run for the United States in the 400-meter dash at the 2012 Olympics. Nellum ran a personal best 44.8 at the qualifiers on Sunday in Eugene, Ore. - Photo courtesy of Sports Information

With about 70 meters left in the race, Nellum rallied from sixth place and edged Mance and Manteo Mitchell to capture the final spot on the 400-meter team.

“I kept faith in God, kept going day by day, kept working hard and stayed dedicated,” he said in a statement.

Nellum’s time is good for fourth on USC’s all-time 400-meter dash list. He will join LaShawn Merritt and Florida’s Tony McQuay to make up the 400-meter team.

With a time of 44.88 seconds, Mance finished fourth and missed a spot on the 400-meter team but qualified for the 4×400-meter relay pool.

“We have worked on finishes and they both did that very well today,” USC director of track and field Ron Allice said in a statement. “All the credit goes to them.”

USC alumni Jesse Williams and Duane Solomon also made the U.S. Olympic team in the men’s high jump and men’s 800-meter dash, respectively.

Though Williams placed fourth in the high jump finals on Monday, he has jumped the Olympic A standard qualifying height of 7-foot-7 this year while third-place finisher Nick Ross did not, giving Williams the nod to represent the United States.

Solomon ran a 1:44.65 in the 800-meter dash, which surpassed the Olympic A standard qualifying time that he had yet to fulfill. His finish was just .01 seconds behind second-place finisher Khadevis Robinson.

The U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials will resume Thursday, where senior Dalilah Muhammad will run the women’s 400-meter individual hurdles, senior Aareon Payne will run the women’s 200-meter dash and junior Reggie Wyatt will run the men’s 400-meter individual hurdles.

USC alumni Brendan Ames, Logan Taylor and Ryan Wilson will all participate in the first round of men’s 110-meter high hurdles round on Friday.