U.S. Olympic Trials Bring Brands Closer to Games

The close of the U.S. Olympics Trials in track and field on Sunday means athletic brands have a better sense of who will be representing them at the end of the month.

The biggest story coming out of the 10-day competition held in Eugene, Ore., was the photo-finish tie between Nike athletes Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix for third place in the women’s 100-meter race on the first day of competition. With no way to determine who had secured the last berth for the race, Tarmoh and Felix had originally agreed to a runoff. However, on Monday, Tarmoh, who was initially named the third-place finisher, ceded her spot to Felix, who also won the women’s 200-meter dash.

Saucony, which has made competing and winning at the 2012 games a centerpiece of its marketing plans since 2010, will be sending a record number of athletes. That includes Wallace Spearmon Jr., the 27-year-old sprinter that the brand signed in 2010. This will be the second Olympics for Spearmon, who was awarded a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing games in the 200 meter before being disqualified for stepping outside his lane. Other Saucony athletes earning berths at the trials include Tianna Madison in the 100 meter, Lauryn Williams and Keisha Baker in the 4×100-meter relay, Molly Huddle in the 5,000 meter and Duane Solomon Jr. in the 800 meter.

Other notable athletes securing spots at the trials include Amy Hastings, a Brooks athlete who won the 10,000-meter race; Asics’ Lolo Jones, who took third in the 100-meter hurdles; and Jenny Barringer Simpson, a New Balance athlete and the 2011 world champion in the 1,500 meter, who took the third spot in the 1,500.

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