Penn senior Marc Minichello, who led the qualifying round in the men’s javelin, bettered that mark in Monday night’s final but finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore.
Minichello, a former PIAA state high school champion, had a best throw of 251 feet, 9 inches (76.73 meters) on his fourth throw. That effort was four inches better than his 251-5 (76.63) qualifying throw on Saturday.
Curtis Thompson, a former star at Mississippi State and a graduate of Florence (N.J.) Township High School, won the competition with a season-best throw of 271-7. The top three finishers qualify for the Tokyo Games but must have the Olympic standard of 85.00 meters (279 feet).
Former Temple standout Travis Mahoney qualified for the final of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing fifth in his heat in a time of 8 minutes, 24.05 seconds. The big story in that race was Sean McGorty of the Nike Bowerman Track Club.
McGorty’s right heel came out of his shoe after he had completed a hurdle and he had to stop to put it back on, but he was the last qualifier in the field at 8:25.95.
Clayton Murphy, the bronze medalist in the 800 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics, won the 800 final in 1:43.17. A pair of former Penn State runners, Isaiah Harris (1:44.58) and Brannon Kidder (1:45.08) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Donovan Brazier, the American record holder at the distance, faded in the stretch and finished last.