UO Alumni Centrowitz, Wheating Make U.S. Olympic Team

Jul 2, 2012

Two more University of Oregon alum are headed to the London Olympics this summer, after the final day of the Track and Field Trials Sunday. Matthew Centrowitz and Andrew Wheating will face the world's best after placing in the top three of Sunday's 1,500-meters.

The crowd at Hayward got so loud, they completely drowned out the announcer. Centrowitz and Wheating ended up placing second and third.

Centrowitz, the son of an Olympian who shares the same name, said his father came down early to help him focus on the race.

"He's been very helpful, just keeping me relaxed," he says. "Talking good stuff in my ear that just reinforces that I'm all right, I'm doing well. Obviously since he's made two Olympic teams, it's great to have a father that's been there, and can give me that kind of advice."

Wheating had been suffering from injuries and had had a difficult season. He credited the crowd lifting him in the final sprint to the finish line.

"Honestly if this was the same race and you put me in Des Moines or California on some other track, I don’t think it would be the same kind of kick," Wheating says. "'Cause the crowd here, it really does take 10 percent energy for me to get down the home stretch, because they push me the other 10 percent."

Wheating made the U.S. team in 2008, but this will be Centrowitz's first Olympics.

UO alum Rachel Yurkovich also won a spot on the U.S. Olympic squad in javelin.