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U.S. Olympic Track Trials: USC's Bryshon Nellum Heading To London

James Santelli |
June 24, 2012 | 5:07 p.m. PDT

Sports Director

 USC Athletics
USC Athletics
In 2008, Bryshon Nellum was fast enough to make the U.S. Olympic team. But in his first race as a USC freshman, he strained a hamstring. He would not run for the rest of the season or in the Olympic Trials.

Eight months later: a late night. A gang slogan. Three gun shots. Nellum missed another season with bullet wounds to the leg, and had no idea why he was shot. Doctors said he may never run competitvely again.

That all must seem like a distant memory now.

Nellum ran the 400-meter dash in 44.8 seconds at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. That was good enough for third place and a spot on the U.S. Team. The 23-year-old's Olympic dreams will come true next month, along with LaShawn Merritt and Tony McQuay, who finished first and second. USC teammate Josh Mance finished eight-hundreths of a second behind Nellum, making Team USA for the 4x400-meter relay.

The day's other big men's race was the 100-meter dash, won by Justin Gatlin in 9.80 seconds. Gatlin won Olympic Gold in the 100 meters in 2004, but could not run in 2008 due to a four-year ban from a positive doping test. Former World Champion Tyson Gay made the team at 9.86 seconds, as did Ryan Bailey (9.93 seconds).

On the women's side, Sanya Richards-Ross ran the fastest 400 meters time in the world this year at 49.28 seconds. Her run also tied the Olympic Trials record, and she will be joined in London by Dee Dee Trotter and Francine McCorory.

The full results from today's track and field finals can be found here.


Reach James by email or follow him on Twitter, @JamesSantelli.



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