Former Lobo Solomon Punches Ticket to London
June 24, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Former University of New Mexico track and field standout Jarrin Solomon is headed to the 2012 Summer Olympics after helping break a Trinidad and Tobago national record in the men's 4x400-meter relay at the 2012 Sagicor NAAA Track & Field Championships in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Solomon, an Albuquerque product out of La Cueva High School, ran the third leg for the Trinidad and Tobago A team, which combined to finish in 3 minutes, 00.45 seconds, breaking the old national record of 3:01.05 set back in 1992 by National Senior Team.
That mark, which ranks fourth in the world as of June 20, does not technically guarantee Solomon and his teammates Renny Quow, Lalonde Gordon and Deon Lendore a spot at the Summer Olympics, but since the top sixteen teams in the world qualify, Solomon and company have all but secured their place in London.
Solomon also made history at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, as he became just the sixth New Mexico track and field athlete to compete at the Olympic Games. He joins Americans Buster Charles (1932), Dick Howard (1960), Gary Kinder (1988); Australian Simon Arkell (1992); and his father, native Trinidadian Michael Solomon (1976, 1980), as UNM Olympians.
"I didn't really realize when I was talking to my pops today that there were so few to come out of New Mexico," Solomon said. "So I think it's pretty cool. It's kind of like an elite group."
He is also the just the fourth native Albuquerquean to ever compete at the Olympics in track and field, according to Sports Reference LLC.
"It's a unique honor to be able to do that," Solomon said. "Albuquerque is kind of a small city and we don't have any pro sports or anything like that, so the Olympics are the next best thing to that in my mind. And to be able to run in the Olympics is cool since it's an elite group."
Elsewhere, the Lobos had current and former athletes competing at the United Kingdom's Olympic team tryouts, the Aviva 2012 Trials.
Millington, a senior out of Stockport, England, won the race with a 13:59.01 time, but missed out on the Olympic A Standard (13:20.00) needed to qualify to London.
"I could see how (my win) could be a surprise to a lot of people but it wasn't a surprise for me to come here and win," Millington said in an interview with the UK Athletics official website. "This year hasn't been great time-wise for me but I'm extremely happy."
Recently graduated Sarah Waldron, a two-time All-American in 2012, placed 13th in the women's 5000 with a 16:26.93 time, missing the cutoff of third place and an Olympic A Standard to qualify.
On Saturday, former Lobo David Bishop did not qualify to the Olympics in the 1500 after finishing seventh with a 3:50.41 time. Bishop advanced to the finals after a 13th-place, 3:48.33 clocking in the preliminary round on Friday.
The Lobos have two more athletes to compete at their nation's Trials, including triple jumper Floyd Ross for the U.S. and high jumper Django Lovett for Canada. Both are scheduled to compete on Thursday, June 28.