Track and Field: Current and former Commodores compete in the 2024 Olympic Trials

A busy week of Olympic Trials saw Vanderbilt student-athletes and alumni vie for a trip to Paris
Veronica Fraley hurls the discus at the NCAA East Regional on May 27, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).
Veronica Fraley hurls the discus at the NCAA East Regional on May 27, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).
Vanderbilt Athletics

From June 21-30, some of the United States’ best athletes convened in Eugene, Ore. for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials. After a record-breaking season for Vanderbilt Track and Field, the Commodores sent three athletes to the competition. 

Among them was recent graduate Veronica Fraley. The Raleigh, N.C. native earned countless honors through her final season, from first-team All-American to SEC Field Athlete of the Year. A personal-best 63.66-meter throw in the discus at the NCAA Championships crowned her an NCAA Champion

Fraley’s dominance didn’t stop there, as her 62.85-meter throw at Eugene’s Hayward Field was good enough for third-place among all the United States’ athletes. Perhaps the biggest of her young career, this throw earned the 24-year-old an official spot on the United States’ Track and Field team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

On the field with Fraley was rising junior Giovanna Meeks, who redshirted the 2024 outdoor season. She showed little rust despite missing this past year, as Meeks placed 17th in the hammer throw with a 63.76-meter toss, breaking the previous school record she set in 2023.

Moving off of the field and onto the track, sophomore Allyria McBride saw success in the 400-meter hurdles. She advanced past the first round with a time of 56.96 seconds. The rising third-year fell just short of advancing to the decisive round after a 57.37-second run in the semifinals just two days later. 

Vanderbilt’s success didn’t just take place in Oregon, or even the country, for that matter. The Commodores had four more athletes (three alumni and one current student) compete in international trials.

In Canada, 2023 graduate Brooke Overholt dominated in the 400-meter hurdles. The Ontario native cruised through the preliminary rounds with a time of 59.03 seconds before earning a silver medal thanks to her time of 57.64 seconds in the final. While her time did not quite meet the 54.85-second Olympic standard, Overholt will wait and see whether her World Athletics Ranking is high enough to advance to Paris. 

Across the pond, Divine Oladipo put forth two medal-earning efforts in the UK Championships. Throws of 54.78 meters (discus) and 17.24 meters (shot put) earned the 2022 All-American gold and bronze medals, respectively. While neither of these met the Olympic standard, her fate is not yet sealed, and will be determined by the strength of her World Athletics Ranking. Sarah Omoregie, a 2024 All-American in the shot put, competed alongside Oladipo. The Cardiff, U.K. native’s throw of 16.03 meters placed her sixth in the event. 

Last, but certainly not least, is 2023 graduate Beatrice Juskeviciute. The Lithuanian dominated at her country’s championships, winning both the 100-meter hurdles (12.95 seconds) and the heptathlon (6,136 points). While neither quite met the threshold needed for an instant qualification, Juskeviciute stands a chance at advancing to Paris in the 100-meter hurdles, as she was only 0.18 seconds off from the 12.77-second Olympic standard. 

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About the Contributor
Aiden Rutman
Aiden Rutman, Sports Editor
Aiden Rutman (‘25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He formerly produced The Hustler’s sports podcast, Live from West End. In addition to writing and podcasting, Aiden is an avid New York sports fan, and he loves playing sports, spending time outdoors and trying new foods. You can reach him at [email protected].
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