Versailles graduate Sam Prakel will compete for a spot in the Tokyo Olympics this week at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Prakel, a 2013 Versailles High School alumnus, will compete in the men’s 1,500 meter run at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The first round of the competition is scheduled to begin at 9:04 p.m. Thursday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
The men’s 1,500 meter semifinals are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday, and the final is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. Sunday.
Prakel will compete in the third and final heat, each of which includes 10 runners, in Thursday’s first round. The top six finishers in each heat plus the next six fastest overall will advance to Friday’s semifinals.
The top five finishers in both of the semifinals plus the next two fastest overall will advance to Sunday’s final.
The races on Thursday and Friday will be televised nationally on NBCSN while the final will be televised nationally on NBC.
Prakel enters the Olympic Trials with a qualifying time of 3:35.66, which is 12th best in the nation. The best American time this year is by Matthew Centrowitz, who has a mark of 3:32.81.
Prakel previously competed at the 2016 Olympic Trials. He finished fifth in his first round race with a time of 3:50.73 to qualify for the semifinals.
In the 2016 Olympic Trial semis, Prakel finished sixth in his heat with a time of 3:48.55. He was 18th overall in the semifinals and missed advancing to the final that year.
Earlier this year, Prakel had the top American time in the men’s 1,500 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. He finished fourth overall in February’s race behind two runners from Australia and one from New Zealand.
At the USATF Golden Games and Distance Open in May, Prakel finished fifth overall and third among the Americans.
Prakel, who has run professionally for Adidas since 2018, won the men’s 1,500 meter run invitational this year at the West Coast Relays.
For more information about the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, visit https://www.usatf.org/.
Reach the writer at [email protected] or 937-538-4824.