June 24, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. -
Former Western Carolina track & field standout Manteo Mitchell wrapped up competition in the 2012 United States Olympic Trials as he competed in the finals of the 400-meter dash Sunday evening at Historic Heyward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Mitchell finished fifth overall in the event.
Manteo Mitchell saved his best for when he needed it the most as the Mooresboro, N.C., native ran an all-time personal best 44.96. Mitchell led for the first 300 meters of the race before the competition closed in over the last 100 meters. Winning the race was LaShawn Merritt, who is the reigning 400-meter Olympic gold medalist and also won the last U.S. Olympic Trials, with a time of 44.12. Tony McQuay from the University of Florida placed second with a time of 44.49. The next three finishers were separated by only .16. Bryshon Nellum (44.80) and Josh Mance (44.88) placed third and fourth ahead of Mitchell.
With Mitchell’s top eight finish, he will go to the 2012 Olympic Games in London as part of the runners who qualified to run the 4x400-meter relay team. Out of the top eight runners, the relay team will be assembled. The top three runners from today’s final – Merritt, McQuay and Nellum – will represent the United States in the 400-meter dash.
The 2012 Olympic Games begin in London with competition starting on Friday, August 3. The men’s 400-meter dash begins on Day 2 with round one starting at 10:35 am. The first round of the 4x400-meter relay takes place on Day 7, August 9, at 11:35 am. The finals will be on the second to last day of the Olympics, August 10, on Friday evening at 9:20 pm.