Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Assistant Coach Sam Bluske qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the marathon Dec. 6 with a time of 2:41:13.
Bluske bested the qualifying mark of 2:43:00 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento, where she finished ninth.The Olympic Team Trials will take place Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. To qualify for the event, the time must be run on a USA Track & Field-certified course in a sanctioned event.
“The feeling is unexplainable,” Bluske said. “I set the goal of qualifying after graduating college, but I figured I would shoot for the 2020 Olympic year. A lot of the other women are older and more experienced, so I’m just excited to learn from them and the experience.”
Only 145 women have qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials so far. Two UT graduates, Emma Kertesz and Nicole Camp, also qualified for the event. Kertesz ran a 2:42:07 at the same race, while Camp ran a 2:37:37 at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis.
“This is a great accomplishment for Samantha, and we’re all really proud of her,” said UT Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Head Coach Linh Nguyen. “It’s not an easy thing to train at a high level while coaching, but she’s managed it really well. It’s awesome that we’ll have two alums and an assistant coach all running at the Olympic Trials. I’m sure that Nicole, Emma and Sam will all represent Toledo well, and we’re excited to see how they perform in February.”