Luke Winder and Morolake Akinosun compete in the 2024 Olympic track and field trials

2024 Olympic track Morolake Akinosun with gold medal
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The 2024 Team USA track and field Olympic time trials were held this weekend in Eugene, Oregon. A pair of local athletes had strong showings as they chased their Olympic dreams in Paris later this summer.

Luke Winder impresses in the Pole Vault

North Central College graduate and seven-time NCAA Division III Pole Vault national champion Luke Winder performed well at the 2024 Olympic track and field trials. The Joliet native qualified for the finals with a vault of 18-6 ½, clearing the height in his final attempt. before taking sixth place overall. The Winder family has left a lasting legacy in the Pole Vault at North Central College for over a decade.

In the finals on Sunday, Winder was able to clear 18-5 ¼ before falling short at 18-9¼. The three qualifying Team USA Olympians all cleared 19-3.

Gold Medalist Morolake Akinosun makes the 100 meter semifinals

Waubonsie Valley graduate and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Morolake Akinosun hoped to make it to her second Olympic games, competing in the 100 meter dash. The former IHSA state champion advanced to the 100-meter dash semifinals with an opening round time of 11.04.

Akinosun just missed the cut for the finals by four-tenths of a second, finishing in 11th place in the semis with a time of 11.14. Akinson earned a gold medal as a member of 4X100 meter relay team at the 2016 Rio Olympics following her All-American career at the University of Texas.

The 2024 Paris Olympics begin on July 26th and run through August 11th.