EUGENE, Ore. — Former LSU All-America hurdlers Cassandra Tate and Quincy Downing came up short Sunday night in their bids to earn a spot on the U.S. track and field team for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Tate and Downing advanced to the finals of the women’s and men’s 400-meter hurdles Saturday, but Tate was fifth and Downing took seventh as the 10-day competition concluded at Hayward Field.
A top-three finish was needed to make the U.S. team.
Tate, the bronze medalist at the World championships last summer, drew a tough assignment out of Lane 1 based on her time in Saturday’s semis and had to catch the front-runners when the field evened out upon reaching the home stretch.
Trying desperately to make up ground over the final 100 meters, Tate had to settle for fifth in 54.60 seconds. It matched the fifth-place finish she produced in her first trials final in 2012 when she clocked in at 55.36 seconds.
Later, Downing, running in his first Olympic trials final, was sixth in a time of 49.60 seconds.
Also, New Iberia native and former Louisiana-Lafayette pole vaulter Morgann Leleux came close to landing a berth in Rio before taking fourth.
Leleux, who tied for second at the NCAA championships last month, had a personal-record clearance of 15 feet, 1 inch. She missed three times when the bar was raised to 15-3 and wound up four inches short of third-place finisher Alexis Weeks.
Former LSU star Chanice Chase, who made the Canadian team Friday in the 400 hurdles, couldn’t complete the double in the 100 hurdles final in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday.
Chase advanced through the rounds in the 100 hurdles on Friday and Saturday, but was sixth in the final Sunday with a time of 13.57 seconds.