There are now three former Tennessee track standouts headed to London. Justin Gatlin and DeeDee Trotter followed in Tianna Madison's footsteps from Saturday night, punching their tickets to the Olympic Games in front of a crowd of 21,809 at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field on Sunday.
Gatlin, whose return from a highly-publicized suspension has gone well despite a four-year absence from the sport, capped off that comeback by becoming America's fastest man in 2012 with a career-best time of 9.80 seconds to win the 100 meters at the U.S. Trials. He'll be making his second Olympic appearance, but first since 2004, with the number-two time in the world behind Jamaica's Usain Bolt.
In his first appearance at the Games in Athens back in 2004, Gatlin won three medals for America. He took the gold in the 100m dash, aided the 4x100m relay to a silver and grabbed a bronze in the 200m dash. He is expected to start his Olympic quest in the 200m at the U.S. Trials, beginning on Friday.
In the women's 400-meter dash final, there was little mention of Trotter in the pre-race build up. But as she did so many times as a Lady Vol, Trotter made a strong finish over the final 150 meters and qualified for her third Olympic Games by taking second behind victor Sanya Richards-Ross in 50.02.
The fifth-place Olympic finisher in the 400m in 2004 and a gold medalist with the 4x400m relay that year, Trotter only ran the 400 in 2008, advancing to the semifinal round after overcoming injuries to make it to the Games. She wasn't on the 4x4 team that season, but she should be a key component of that relay again in 2012.
Monday's action at the U.S. Olympic Trials includes former Lady Vol Phoebe Wright trying to make the Olympic Team in the 800 meters with a final at 9:50 p.m. Eastern time and her former UT teammate Jackie Areson competing in the qualifying round of the 5000m at 6:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will televise action from Eugene on Monday from 9-11 p.m. ET.