Memphis Native Prepares to Compete in U.S. Olympic Trials
July 11, 2000
Memphis, Tenn.-- - University of Memphis sophomore Delvit Rogers, a 1998 graduate of Raleigh Egypt High School, leaves Friday to compete in the long jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, Calif.
Rogers jumped 8.07 meters (26-5) at the LSU Alumni Gold Meet, Apr. 15th, to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials and the NCAA Championships. The minimum qualifying mark to participate in the trials was 7.86 meters.
Rogers will open his schedule at 5:45 p.m. (Pacific Time), Saturday, in the long jump preliminaries against stiff competition.
"The competition there will be tough since it includes both collegiate and post-collegiate competitors," University of Memphis field events coach Steve Whistler said.
Rogers struggled at the NCAA Championships while competing against some of the same competitors that he will see in Sacramento this weekend. Rogers will find NCAA Champion Savante Stringfellow of Ole Miss and NCAA runner-up Dwight Philips of Arizona State also competing this weekend, but Whistler said that should not affect Rogers' confidence.
"He had a couple of jumps that would've qualified him for the finals in both events (the long jump and triple jump) at the NCAAs, but he fouled on them. I hope he does go to this meet and just compete, it'll be great for his confidence," Whistler said.
Rogers will be performing in front of a sizeable crowd, Saturday. The 2000 trials have already sold out for three of the eight days of competition, including Saturday. Officials have announced that the 2000 trials is already the largest in history with 161,000 tickets sold, well ahead of the 151,222 tickets sold for the last Olympic Trials held in Atlanta in 1996.
Should Rogers advance to the long jump finals, the next phase of competition begins at 7:30 p.m. (PST), Monday. The top three finishers will go to the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where the U.S. has won seven of the last eight gold medals.
Rogers, who is the school record holder in the long jump, is a two-time C-USA indoor long jump champion. He finished third in the outdoor league championships in May.
Rogers is the first Tiger to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials since William Singleton competed in the 800 meter run in 1984. In 1980, Tiger Terron Wright qualified for the Olympics in the 300-yard dash, but a U.S. boycott of the '80 games prevented him from competing in the Olympics.