Werner advances to 5,000M final, Hiltz reaches 1,500M semifinal at Olympic Trials

Pig Trail Nation

Taylor Werner (photo courtesy of the University of Arkansas)

A pair of Arkansas alums advanced past the opening round of their respective events on the first day of the U.S. Olympic Trials held at Hayward Field. Taylor Werner advanced to the final of the 5,000m while Nikki Hiltz qualified for the 1,500m semifinal.

A total of six athletes with ties to the Razorback program competed on Friday. On Saturday, two more UA alums – Taliyah Brooks and Payton Chadwick – race in the first round of the 100m hurdles.

Hiltz and Krissy Gear ran in the same 1,500m heat. Hiltz posted a time of 4:11.42 to earn an automatic qualifier for the semifinal, which will be run on Saturday at 6:40 p.m. PT (8:40 p.m. CT).

It was the second-best time in the first round, trailing only a 4:11.34 by Jenny Simpson, who won the first heat over Hiltz.

Gear finished ninth in the first heat with a time of 4:19.81, which served as the sixth and final time qualifier after the second heat was completed. After the third race was run, the final time qualifier for the semifinal became 4:14.80. Gear placed 27th overall.

On Sunday, Gear will race again in the first round of the 3,000m steeplechase at 6:35 p.m. PT (8:35 p.m. CT).

Werner and Katie Izzo both ran in the same heat of the 5,000m. Werner finished sixth in the heat at 15:39.98 while Izzo placed ninth in 16:04.35. The time for Werner, who placed 14th overall, advanced to the final that will be held on Monday at 5:40 p.m. PT (7:40 p.m. CT). Izzo finished 19th overall.

Racing over 100m were Jada Baylark and Kiara Parker. Baylark posted an 11.21 (0.8 wind) for sixth in the first of four heats. Parker finished seventh in the third heat with an 11.25 (1.1 wind). The last time qualifier to the semifinal was 11.19 as Baylark and Parker placed 17th and 20th overall.

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