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Freedom’s Smith advances at U.S. Olympic track trials

Posted Jun 22, 2012 by Bill Ward

Updated Jun 22, 2012 at 09:59 PM

Former Freedom High and University of Florida standout Calvin Smith II advanced to the semifinals of the 400-meter dash at Friday’s U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Smith qualified for today’s semifinals by finishing fourth in his opening-round heat in 45.94 seconds, just behind 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner. Smith posted the 14th best time out of the 16 athletes who reached the semifinals.

Also advancing in the 400 Friday was defending Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, who is now living and training in Bradenton. Merritt had the top qualifying time of the day in 45.36.

In the men’s long jump, another former Freedom athlete, Mikese Morse, was 15th in the qualifying round with a mark of 24 feet, 11.25 inches. Only the top 12 in that event made the finals. Ex-Gators star Will Claye was the event leader at 26-2.25.

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