Saturday was a good day at the U.S. Olympic Trials for Alaska track stars Jordan Clarke and Trevor Dunbar, and Dunbar didn't even do anything.
Clarke, a 21-year-old shot putter from Anchorage, qualified for the eight-man finals with his final throw in the preliminary competition at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
And Dunbar, a 21-year-old runner from Kodiak, learned he made the cut for the men's 5,000 meters and will race in Monday's preliminaries.
The meet will determine America's Olympic track and field team, and both Alaskans came into it with fairly modest expectations. Clarke hoped to advance to Sunday's eight-man finals and Dunbar hoped to compete, period.
Dunbar's season-best time in the 5,000 (13 minutes, 36.86 seconds) provisionally qualified him for the meet, but the field was capped at 25 runners. A couple of runners with faster times than Dunbar decided not to race, giving Dunbar the 25th spot when the field was announced Saturday.
He'll run in the first of two heats, in a field of 13 that also includes Galen Rupp, who won Friday night's 10,000 meters, and Alan Webb, who owns the American record in the mile.
Clarke will be the youngest competitor in the shot put finals after placing eighth in a preliminary field of 24 Saturday.
Clarke was in 10th place after the first two rounds, fouling on his first attempt and throwing 60 feet, 10 inches on his second. His third throw put him in the finals -- his toss of 62-9.5 was nearly a foot better than the man who finished ninth.
The top qualifier, with a throw of 69-7.5, was Reese Hoffa. Clarke's personal best, recorded indoors, is 68-5.25.
Clarke and Dunbar are both coming off stellar college seasons.
Clarke, a junior at Arizona State, won NCAA titles at the indoor championships and outdoor championships, and Dunbar, a sophomore at Oregon, placed sixth in the 5,000 at the outdoor championships.
Reach Beth Bragg at email@example.com or 257-4335.