Former Clovis High and Oregon Ducks star Jenna Prandini continued her dominance in the women’s 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials, winning her semifinal heat in a wind-legal (-1.7 m/s) 22.68 seconds to advance to Sunday’s final in Eugene, Ore.
Prandini got off to a fast start, and led the pack through the final 100 meters while her former Ducks teammate Ariana Washington took second in 22.72 to also reach the final.
Former College of Sequoias athlete Deajah Stevens, who will begin her senior year at Oregon in the fall, won the second of three semifinal heats in 22.45. In her senior season with the Giants, Stevens was the state junior college champion in the 400 and 200 and runner-up in the long jump.
Prandini, who last week just missed a spot on the U.S. team in the 100 meters when she finished fifth, qualified for Sunday’s 200 final with with the fourth-fastest semifinal time.
Tori Bowie, the women’s 100 winner last week, won the third semi in 22.27 for the fastest qualifying time.
Bowie holds the fastest time in the U.S. this year, a 21.99 at the Prefontaine Classic in May. Prandini’s fastest 200 time is a 22.20 that won her last year’s USATF Outdoor Championship at Hayward Field.
Just one more race determines who will compete in the event for the U.S. in Rio de Janiero and Prandini is hoping fans at her college home track – where she won the NCAA long jump title in 2014 and the 100 in 2015 – will do “what they always do,” for Sunday’s final.
“I’m hoping that the crowd here at Hayward Field will push me to the finish line and help me run a fast time,” Prandini told NBC Sports. “I definitely was relaxed in the straightaway and the whole goal is just to make it through the next round, so that’s what we did.”
The top three finishers in the final will earn a spot on the U.S. team.