The first night of US Olympic Trials was a successful one for the North Carolina A&T contingent in the men’s 400 meters.
Both Trevor Stewart and Randolph Ross advanced to the semifinals of the event. Stewart won his 400m heat. Ross qualified by finishing third in his heat. The duo joins Livingstone’s Quanera Hayes (400m) and fellow Aggies Cambrea Sturgis and Kayla White (100m) in advancing in their respective events.
Stewart kicked things off for the Aggie aggregation, running a 45.75 out of Lane Two in the 400m.
“It’s a mind game,” he said of running on the inside. “You gotta be mentally tough for that.”
It was a good moment for Stewart, who has seen some disappointments in Eugene. A slip at the end of his run in the 400m back in 2019 cost him a shot at a national title. Last Friday, he just missed out on making the podium by finishing fourth in the open race before anchoring the winning 4×400 relay. But Friday night, he just focused on Friday night.
“One race at a time,” Stewart said regarding how he approached his opening heat. “You win some, you lose some, but you got to always put your heart out 100 percent.”
A week off a spectacular performance in both the 400m open and relay races, Ross found himself in an unfamiliar position of being behind several runners at the last 100m. He kicked it into gear to finish third, qualifying himself for the semifinals. It did, however, seem that Ross was almost running to evaluate the rest of the field as he was trying to speed through. He clocked in at 45.61.
Randolph Ross and Trevor Stewart will line up again on Saturday night in the semifinals of the Olympic Trials. The event is set for 10:35 EST.