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Former WCU T&F Standout Heads to Olympic Trials

Manteo Mitchell holds the 13th fastest time in the United States in 2012.

June 21, 2012

CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Related Link: Live Results at

Former Western Carolina track & field standout Manteo Mitchell heads to Eugene, Ore., Track Town USA, to compete in the 2012 United States Olympic Trials held at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Mitchell will run in the 400-meter dash Friday with the first round of the race beginning at 6:10 pm ET. The first day of the trials will be shown on NBC Sports Network from 9-11 pm ET.

The first round of the 400m features 28 athletes with the top 16 advancing to Saturday’s second round (8 pm ET). The top eight from Saturday make it to Sunday’s final to be held at 7:20 pm where the top three move on to represent the United States in the 400-meter dash, while the top eight comprise the initial relay pool for the 4x400-meter relay in the 2012 Olympics in London, England.

Mitchell ran the 28th fastest time in the world – the 13th best by an American – with his quickest time this year of 45.25 run on June 7 in Auburn, Ala.

Mitchell became Western Carolina track & field's first athlete to don the Red, White and Blue of the USA when he was a member of the world champion indoor 4x400-meter relay team. Only three other Catamounts have participated in Olympic trials including All-Americans Von Ross (women's long jump) and Tony McKinney (men's 400-meter hurdles), as well as Richard Rowe, who qualified to represent Jamaica in 1988 in the 800-meter run. However, the country then decided to only bring sprinters to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

“He has worked extremely hard and he decided about a year ago to make a total commitment towards this dream,” said WCU Head Track & Field Coach Danny Williamson. “He has put himself in position to have a great shot at achieving these goals.  He also has claimed some valuable experience with the World Indoor Championships and recent victories in two competitions in Canada.”



Mitchell was a 32-time all-Southern Conference performer including being named the Southern Conference Most Valuable Track Performer four times. Mitchell holds WCU records in the 200-meter (20.73) and the 400-meter (46.00). He also qualified for the NCAA Championships seven times.

Coverage of Saturday’s and Sunday’s competition can be seen on NBC from 8-9 pm on Saturday and 7-8 pm on Sunday. Live results for the weekend can be found at