first_imgTeam USA’s 2016 Olympics marathon times trials took place in Los Angeles on Saturday, with part of the course running through the USC campus.The course began on the south side of downtown L.A., close to the Staples Center and L.A. Live. Competitors ran down Figueroa Street and onto campus, traveling down 34th Street and up Child’s Way by Tommy Trojan. Participants continued to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park before returning Downtown.Runners had to complete the six-mile Downtown to USC route four times, as well as doing a loop Downtown, totaling 26.2 miles.There were barricades at the intersection of 34th and Trousdale and Childs Way and Trousdale in addition to part of Figueroa being blocked off, with CSC workers and DPS manning the course to ensure no one crossed while runners were passing.“When people are on the track, they can’t come through – it’s a safety issue,” said a CSC worker.Despite the Department of Transportation sending out emails on Jan. 27 and Feb. 12 informing students of the closures. Many students felt this was not ample notification.Freshman Amy MacRae parked her car in PSX but was unaware that she would not be able to leave the parking structure between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.“We were supposed to be going to the USC Rugby game, and then because of my car lockdown, we couldn’t,” MacRae said. “So we thought we might as well just come over and watch, because this is a cool event to have on campus anyway.”Despite being happy to watch the event, MacRae expressed frustration about the closures of the parking structures.“I feel like they should have just had an exit route for people,” MacRae said. “They should have planned it better.”Macrae also felt that email was not the optimal way for the University to communicate the street closures to students.“I know there have been some emails and stuff, but do people really read them?” MacRae said. “I had no idea this was happening here — zero.”Despite the importance of the event — the first three runners from the men and women’s races will compete in Rio this summer — there were not many USC students among the spectators.“I expected a lot more people here, because this is the time trials for the Olympics, but it doesn’t seem too crowded,” said Tyler Matthews, a freshman majoring in chemical engineering, who was watching the races.Some students did not even realize the event was on at all. Marissa Di, a junior majoring in biochemistry, was planning to meet a friend when she was forced to wait for the runners to pass.“I was just passing through, and they were like, ‘You can’t go through here,’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s happening!’” Di said. “It would have been nice if I knew about it.”Though there was limited student turnout, the Spirit of Troy, the Song Girls and members of the Spirit of Troy were present to cheer on the runners.“It’s definitely exciting,” Matthews said. “I love hearing the band play too.”Supporters of the time trials were aware of the significance of the event because of the amount of talented marathoners competing for three spots.“It’s incredibly important; there are only three spots, and there’s a lot of talent out there,” said Eliza Peterson, who was on the USC marathon team for two years.It was the hottest Olympic marathon time trials in history, with temperatures reaching 73 degrees during the race.“It’s really hot today, and it’s not an easy run, but it looks like they’re going to try their best under the heat,” volunteer Sunny Pearson said.Galen Rupp won the men’s race with a time of two hours, eleven minutes and eleven seconds, with Meb Keflezighi and Jared Ward also qualifying for Rio this summer.Amy Cragg took the women’s title with a time of two hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds, and Desiree Linden and Shalane Flanagan came in second and third, respectively.last_img read more