Several Massachusetts athletes will look to punch their ticket to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo during the US Olympic Track and Field trials beginning Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Elle Purrier St. Pierre looks to have the best shot to make the team because her 1500 meters time of 3:58.63 is the fastest in the US this year and fifth-fastest in the world.
The New Balance Boston athlete holds American records in the indoor mile at 4:16.85 and the indoor two-mile at 9:10.28. Purrier St. Pierre competed for Team USA at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar in 2019 and finished 11th in the 5,000 meters.
To qualify for Team USA, athletes have to finish top three at the trials. Athletes who finish in the top three must also have met the Olympic qualifying standard or have a higher IAAF world ranking to compete in the Olympics. Athletes who finish outside the top three may also travel to the Olympics if chosen for a relay team.
Several athletes have already qualified for Team USA. Trials for the marathon and 50-kilometer race walk were held in early 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports. Among them is Boston’s Molly Seidel, 23, who finished second in the marathon at the trials to make the Olympic team. This will be Seidel’s first appearance in the Olympics.
The Olympic Trials will broadcast on NBC sports network and NBC through June 27.
Other Massachusetts competitors include:
Gabby Thomas: The Florence, Mass., native’s season-best 200-meter time of 22.17 is the sixth-fastest in the world and fourth-fastest among American women this year. Thomas, a Harvard graduate, became the first female sprinter from the Ivy League to win an NCAA indoor title when she won the indoor 200-meter title in 2018. She also set the collegiate 200-meter record in that race (22.38). Thomas went to Williston-Northampton school.
Wadeline Jonathas: The former UMass Boston athlete’s season-best in the 400m at 51.00 is the 10th fastest in the U.S. this year. In 2019 she ran 49.60 to finish fourth at the World Championships and ran anchor on the Team USA 4x400 relay that won gold. Jonathas went to Doherty High.
Heather MacLean: Teammates with Purrier St. Pierre on the New Balance Boston team, MacLean has the ninth-fastest American 800-meter and 1500-meter times this year at 1:59.72 and 4:04.85, respectively. She competed at UMass Amherst, where she holds the school record in the 800 meters and 3,000 meters. The 25-year-old was also an All-American in cross country. MacLean attended Peabody High.
John Gregorek: Gregorek’s 1500 meter entry time of 3:35.32 ranks ninth amongst US men. The Seekonk native finished sixth at the Olympic trials in 2016. In 2017 he competed for Team USA at the World Championships in London, where he finished tenth in the 1500. Last year he set a world record by running a mile in 4:06.25 seconds in blue jeans. Gregorek went to Seekonk High.
Kris Rhim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.