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Hayes advances to Olympic trials finals

Staff report

EUGENE, Ore. — Former Livingstone College student athlete Quanera Hayes advanced to today’s final round of the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in the 400 meters by the slimmest of margins.

On Saturday, eight runners advanced to the 400-meter finals and Hayes’ time was eighth-best at 51.28 seconds. She finished fourth in her heat, out of eight women.

The heat was won by Courtney Okolo, with a time of 50.37. Second place went to Natasha Hastings (51.17) and Ashley Spencer (51.21) also finished ahead of Hayes.

Francena McCorory won the other heat, with an even faster time of 50.28. She was followed by Allyson Felix at 50.31, Taylor Ellis-Watson (50.60) and Phyllis Francis (50.84).

Hayes, a three-time NCAA Division II champion in the 400 while at Livingstone, was actually faster on Saturday than on Friday, when she won her first-round heat with a time of 51.79 seconds.

The trials are being held at historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

The top three finishers in each event will earn a trip to Rio, as part of the U.S. Olympic team.

The Olympics’ opening ceremonies in Brazil will begin on Aug. 5. Track & field events begin on Aug. 12.

NBC is airing more than 30 hours of coverage between its main channel, NBC Sports Network, and its streaming platform, NBCOlympics.com/NBC Sports App.

Tonight’s finals will be aired live on NBC and NBC streaming between 7:30 and 9:00, eastern time.

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