Athlete reaches Olympic trials

The 2008 Beijing Olympics will showcase thousands of athletes who aspire for world records and gold-medal finishes. South Florida sophomore Mikese Morse had an opportunity to represent the United States in the long jump.

Morse qualified for a spot in the finals of the Olympic trials, which were held Sunday in Eugene, Ore., with a jump of 7.79 meters. To qualify for the Olympics, he needed a top-four finish.

Despite doing well in the semifinals, Morse could not match his qualifying results during the finals and finished last among the athletes with a 7.50-meter jump.

“I was just trying to go out there and have fun,” Morse said in a press release. “It was the biggest sports competition that I have been in during my entire life and I was ready to go out there and compete.”

Despite missing the cut for the U.S. Olympic team, Morse finished the season as the school-record holder (7.90 meters) and a champion in the Big East.

Morse was named an All-American at the NCAA Outdoor Championships earlier this season, becoming the only male athlete at USF to receive the award in the long jump event.