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Ex-ASU track stars begin Olympic bids

Ronnie McGirt, a 2011 Albany State graduate, won the NCAA Division II championship in the 110-meter hurdles in 2009, and now he'll try to make the U.S. Olympic team at the trials Saturday in Oregon. (joe.bellacomo@albanyherald.com)

Ronnie McGirt, a 2011 Albany State graduate, won the NCAA Division II championship in the 110-meter hurdles in 2009, and now he'll try to make the U.S. Olympic team at the trials Saturday in Oregon. (joe.bellacomo@albanyherald.com)

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Albany State grad Brandon Roulhac is one of 18 athletes that qualified in the triple jump and will compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials today.

EUGENE, Ore. — Two former Albany State University track & field stars will be among 100 American athletes competing this weekend for a chance to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympics in London. Brandon Roulhac and Ronnie McGirt will compete for a spot on Team USA at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Roulhac is one of 18 athletes that will attempt to qualify in the triple jump today, and McGirt will run against 31 other athletes in the 110-meter hurdles Saturday. The top three finishers in the finals will compete in London next month.

“Only the best of the best compete for Team USA. It is a culmination of years of hard work and dedication,” said ASU interim A.D. Richard H. Williams. “Brandon and Ronnie are two of the best and exemplary of ASU Golden Ram athletes. We wish them well as they go for the gold in London.”

Head ASU track & field coach Kenneth Taylor said he likes their chances, but — win or lose — he’s proud of his guys just for making it this far.

“I am so excited for both of them. They have worked so hard to get to this point,” Taylor said. “It is really a great thing that they are representing Albany State University.”

The 2005 NCAA Division II triple jump champion and five-time All-American, Roulhac led the ASU men’s team to three conference championships. Since then, the former Golden Ram has competed on the national and international circuits for several years. Roulhac won the 2009 USA Indoor and Outdoor National championship titles and finished third in 2011. He was ranked fourth in the United States in 2010 by Track & Field News with a personal best of 16.76 meters.

McGirt, a 2011 Albany State graduate, won the NCAA Division II championship in the 110-meter hurdles in 2009. He has competed on the regional and national levels. His personal best is a time of 13.69 in the hurdles.

The NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of the events. Fans can watch today’s events, including Roulhac’s triple jump from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network, and events Friday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday’s events, including McGirt’s race, will be aired from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on NBC.