Coming into this weekend, Walter Dix wasn't sure what to expect. The only thing he knew for sure was that he was set to run against his toughest competition ever. This week in Eugene Oregon, he wouldn't just be running against the best sprinters in college, but against the best amateur and professional sprinters in America.
Saturday was Dix's first chance to prove that he belonged at the U.S. Olympic trials. It was the closest he has been to being 100 percent healthy in the past year and it showed when he posted a qualifying time of 9.96 seconds and won his heat. It was then, that he knew his dream of competing in the Olympics could actually become a reality.
Later in the day, Dix found himself competing in the quarterfinals of the 100 meter dash and posted a 10.02s which was good enough to move on in the trials. During the semifinals early Sunday afternoon, Dix tied a personal record when he ran a 9.93s and advanced to the finals of the U.S. Olympic trials.
Although Dix had tied his personal best and shown that he can compete with anyone in the country, he wouldn't be satisfied without finishing in the top 3 of the finals and earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. When the gun went off, Dix found himself running beside Tyson Gay, who had set an American record with a time of 9.77 seconds earlier in the weekend.
As the runners crossed the finish line, Dix found himself just off pace of Gay, who ran the fastest 100m time ever on record in the world* (9.68s). Dix finished second with a time of 9.80s and punched his ticket to Beijing to represent Florida State and his country where he will run against the best in the world.
Dix has accomplished numerous feats during his time at Florida State including just a few weeks ago when he won the NCAA championship for the 200m with a time of 20.40 seconds ensuring Florida State their third straight national championship. Dix will return to Eugene, Oregon next weekend to compete in the U.S. Olympic trials once again. This time, he will be trying to earn a spot running the 200m for the U.S. Olympic team later this summer in Beijing.
* Not a world record due to the time being wind-aided.