Nicole Tully

NEW YORK – This past May, Armory Foundation President Dr. Norbert Sander announced Nicole Tully, Kyle Merber and Russell Dinkins had been selected Armory Ambassadors during their preparation for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and subsequent Olympic Games.

Since then, The Armory has chronicled the on- and off-the-track stories of Tully, Merber and Dinkins through @armorynyc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #ArmoryJourneys.

Nicole Tully

TULLY, WHO IS A MEMBER of the New Jersey New York Track Club, ran a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying time of 15:04.08 in the 5,000m during the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 1.

Her last two races were the 1,500m at the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic and 5,000m at the Prefontaine Classic.

Though Tully was disappointed in her performance in both races, she reported that she is still optimistic about her chances of making the Olympic team in the 5,000m, an event in which she represent Team USA at the World Championships in Beijing, China last year after becoming the US national champion.

“Things didn’t go as planned during my 5k race at the Prefontaine Classic, but there’s something realistic in realizing that it happens and it’s not the end of the world,” said Tully in a #ArmoryJourneys post.  “You just have to come back from it by continuing to work hard and believing in yourself.”

Tully reported that flying back and forth between the East and West Coast for her last two competitions was fatiguing, but she has since then seen encouraging results at practice under coach Frank Gagliano.

“My event is pretty stacked and on any given day there are six to eight different women who can make the Olympic team,” said Tully.

“I believe based off what I did last year and so far this year that I’m one of them. I think I can make the Olympic team if I run a good, smart race at the Trials.”

Kyle Merber

BECAUSE MERBER HAS BEEN recovering from a hip injury that kept him from competing from the end of the indoor season until now, much of his #ArmoryJourneys content has focused on his road to recovery and offering tips on injury prevention and rehabilitation.

“It’s exciting getting back; every day is getting better and better,” said Merber in a #ArmoryJourneys interview on May 26. “We’re in a little bit of crunch time, but I think there’s enough fitness already in the barn. I think we can make it work.”

Merber will run his first race of the outdoor season at the Princeton Qualifier 2 on June 18, competing in the 1,500m.

He is listed as qualified on USA Track & Field’s status of entries list for the U.S. Olympic Trials based off of his stellar 3:34.54 performance during last year’s South Carolina Track Classic.

Russell Dinkins

DINKINS WILL ALSO BE competing at the Princeton Qualifier 2, where he hopes to run as close as possible to the automatic qualifying standard of 1:46.00 for the 800m.

Dinkins has fought to overcome a string of injuries that kept him from competing during the past two years and much of the beginning of this outdoor season. The Princeton Qualifier 2 will be Dinkins’ fourth race of the season after running a season best of 1:48.78 at the Princeton Qualifier 1.

“I had to train through my racing this season, so I’m pretty encouraged with my results,” said Dinkins. “I think I can hold up a little better this weekend during the last 100 based off of the workouts I’ve been doing lately.”

The U.S. Olympic Trials take place at Eugene, Oregon on July 1-10. That schedule can be found HERE. The Track and field competition at the Summer Olympics takes place at Rio de Janeiro on August 12-21. That schedule can be found HERE.

Nicole Tully

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