Alumni Qualifies for 2016 Olympic Trials


Each year, collegiate, high school, and professional runners alike flock to participate in the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford. The 10,000m event usually consists of an elite field of athletes, including Olympic medalists. This year, Futsum Zeinasellassie, an NC graduate from 2012, set a qualifying time for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 10,000m run. In addition, Zeinasellassie ran the fastest 10k time posted by an NCAA runner this year.

Currently, Zeinasellassie is a senior at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Despite several NCAA All-American finishes at NAU, including a third place finish at the NCAA Cross Country championships in 2014, Futsum is yet to earn an individual or team NCAA title. However, his recent performance at Stanford has increased his prospects to make the team. Zeinasellassie is ranked 6th in the nation (professionals included) for the 10,000m so far this year. Although only the top three finishers in the Olympic trials can punch their ticket to Rio, Zeinasellassie’s time places him among the other top candidates for the Rio team.

Zeinasellassie will still compete for the remainder of the NCAA season, and then will likely begin training for the Olympic Trials from July 1-10 in Eugene, Oregon. His progress can be monitored online on Northern Arizona University’s website and Twitter page.