Texas' Courtney Okolo competes in a women's 400-meter semifinal at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore. She placed sixth in the 400 final at the U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

BEVO BEAT

Justin Gatlin, Allyson Felix headed to Rio, Okolo places sixth in 400

Posted July 3rd, 2016

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Justin Gatlin is heading to the Rio Olympics, after posting the year’s best time of 9.8 seconds in the 100 meters to win the U.S. Olympic Trials.

He’ll have some familiar company.

Allyson Felix fought through her injured right ankle to secure her spot in the 400 meters (49.68 seconds), and keep alive her hopes of a 200-400 double. Felix was just ahead of Phyllis Francis, who crossed the finish in 49.94 seconds. Natasha Hastings was third at 50.17 seconds.

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Texas grad Courtney Okolo placed sixth at 50.39 seconds and was followed by former Texas teammate Ashley Spencer. Spencer placed seventh at 51.09.

English Gardner took the top time in the women’s 100-meter dash, winning the final in 10.74 seconds. Tianna Bartoletta and Tori Bowie both clocked 10.78 seconds but Bartoletta’s 10.776 barley edged Bowies 10.779. UT’s Morolake Akinosun missed qualifying for the team after placing fourth in 10.95 seconds.

LaShawn Merritt, the 2008 gold medalist at 400 meters, also won (43.97) and said he’ll try to qualify in the 200, as well.

And defending Olympic champion Ashton Eaton was a runaway winner in the decathlon. His 8,750 points were one more than the personal best of anyone else who can qualify in the Olympic field. Texas Ex and 2012 silver medalist Trey Hardee did not compete on Sunday due to an injured hamstring.

Also making it: High jumper Vashti Cunningham, the daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham.

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