10 Current and Former NAU Track and Field Athletes Compete at U.S., Canadian Trials

10 Current and Former NAU Track and Field Athletes Compete at U.S., Canadian Trials

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The collegiate track and field season may be over, but the show will go on for 10 current and former Northern Arizona University athletes at the 2016 United States and Canadian Olympic Trials.

Lumberjack representation at the U.S. trial meet will include current athletes Futsum Zienasellassie and Brooke Andersen, while NAU alumni Caleb Hoover, Deante Kemper, Lopez Lomong, Diego Estrada, Brian Shrader and Rochelle Kanuho will also compete for a potential Rio bid at Historic Heyward Field in Eugene, Ore., July 1-10. 

Former NAU stars Lauren Stuart and Shamelle Pless are also set to vie for spots on their respective national team at the Canadian Olympic Trials July 7-10 at Foote Field in Edmonton, Alberta.

Zienasellassie, who held the nation's top collegiate time this season in the 10K event at 27:52.70, and Hoover, this year's conference champ in the 3000m steeplechase, both looked strong at NCAA Championships earlier this month. Zienasellassie earned first-team All-America status with a runner-up performance in the 10K, and Hoover set a new NAU record time of 8:33.77 in the steeple during the semi run before ultimately garnering second-team All-America accolades in the finals.

Estrada, an eight-time NCAA All-American and 10-time individual conference champion, will be gunning for a second appearance at the Olympic games, looking to represent the U.S. for the first time. In 2012, Estrada represented Mexico but has since become a U.S. citizen.

Lomong, on the other hand, is eying a third-career Olympic bid. One of the greatest to ever don the Lumberjack blue and gold, Lomong is a two-time NCAA Champion and also lays claim to three U.S. Championships during his professional career.

Shrader joins Estrada and Lomong in the 5K event at the U.S. trials, while Kemper—the indoor and outdoor school record holder in the high jump—will compete in the qualifying round of the high jump event on Friday, July 8.

Fellow countrywomen Stuart, a two-time conference champ and 2014 NCAA second-team All-American, and Pless, the NAU indoor 200m record holder, will both compete in the qualifying rounds of their respective events on Thursday, July 7. Stuart's hammer throw event is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. MDT while Pless and 100m get underway at 12:35 p.m. MDT.

Additionally, Pless will run in the 200m event at the Canadian Trials, with the qualifying round of that event set to begin at 6:55 p.m. MDT the same day.

Not mentioned above is former NAU track and cross country athlete David McNeill, who is already qualified to represent his native country of Australia at Rio in the 10K event. An Olympian in 2012, this will be McNeill's second appearance at the summer games. 

For more information, please see the links at the top of the story. You can also keep up with the action when it begins through live streaming capabilities (U.S. | Canada) and by following us on Twitter, @NAUTrackFieldXC.

Full Schedule of NAU Athletes Participating

Futsum Zienasellassie (10,000m)

FINAL – Friday, July 1 at 6:15 p.m. PT

Brooke Andersen (Hammer Throw)

QUALIFYING – Wednesday, July 6 at 1 p.m. PT,

FINAL – Wednesday, July 6 at 3 p.m. PT

Caleb Hoover (3,000m SC) 

FINAL – Friday, July 8 at 5:23 p.m. PT

Deante Kemper (High Jump)

QUALIFYING – Friday, July 8 at 4 p.m. PT

FINAL – Sunday, July 10 at 3 p.m. PT

Diego Estrada (5,000m & 10,000m)

5K QUALIFYING – Monday, July 4 at 5:02 p.m. PT

5K FINAL – Saturday, July 9 at 5:20 p.m. PT

10K FINAL – Friday, July 1 at 6:15 p.m. PT

Lopez Lomong (5,000m)

5K QUALIFYING – Monday, July 4 at 5:02 p.m. PT

5K FINAL – Saturday, July 9 at 5:20 p.m. PT

Brian Shrader (5,000m)

5K QUALIFYING – Monday, July 4 at 5:02 p.m. PT

5K FINAL – Saturday, July 9 at 5:20 p.m. PT

Rochelle Kanuho (5,000m)

5K QUALIFYING – Thursday, July 7 at 4:20 p.m. PT 

5K FINAL – Sunday, July 10 at 4:28 p.m. PT

Lauren Stuart (Hammer Throw)

QUALIFYING – Thursday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. MDT

FINAL – Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. MDT

Shamelle Pless (100m & 200m)

100m QUALIFYING – Thursday, July 7 at 12:35 p.m. MDT

100m SEMIS – Saturday, July 9 at 5:35 p.m. MDT

100m FINAL – Saturday, July 9 at 7:40 p.m. MDT

200m QUALIFYING – Thursday, July 7 at 6:55 p.m. MDT

200m SEMIS – Sunday, July 10 at 11:35 a.m. MDT

200m FINAL – Sunday, July 10 at 2:35 p.m. MDT