Mike Hartfield has been added to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team, replacing injured Marquis Dendy in men’s long jump.
Hartfield placed fifth at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and Field in early July with a best effort of 8.39 meters. That was 0.03 meters away from earning a spot on the Olympic team, but third-place finisher Will Claye had not yet achieved the A standard to qualify to compete in Rio. Dendy, who had battled an ankle injury in the weeks prior to trials, took the third spot after finishing fourth, but then was forced to withdraw today.
Currently ranked No. 7 in the world, Hartfield had a personal best of 8.42 meters at the 2015 U.S. outdoor championships, where he placed third. In 2013, as a senior at Ohio State University, he posted a best of 8.15 meters, breaking the record set by Olympic legend Jesse Owens 77 years before. He won the 2010 national junior college championship for Rend Lake College in Illinois before transferring to Ohio State.
“Just got the best news I could have ever imagined!” Hartfield tweeted upon receiving the news. “Sooo thankful for this opportunity! Only God could write this story!”