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Posted on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

Former EMU high jumper Jamie Nieto headed back to Olympic Games

By Rich Rezler


Former Eastern Michigan standout Jamie Nieto qualified for the Olympic Games by winning the high jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Monday.

Associated Press

The Olympic Games have been a series a near misses for former Eastern Michigan high jumper Jamie Nieto.

On Monday night, he earned himself another chance.

Nieto won the men's high jump title at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., with a leap of 7-feet, 5 3/4 inches to secure a spot at the London Games.


Jamie Nieto reacts while competing in the men's high jump finals at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Monday in Eugene, Ore.

Associated Press

A 1999 EMU graduate and 2012 inductee into the school's athletic hall of fame, Nieto just missed a medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. Sweden's Stefan Holm took over first place on his final jump, pushing Nieto into a third-place tie at 7-feet-8. Jaroslav Baba of the Czech Republic won the bronze medal, however, because he had fewer misses.

In 2008, Nieto finished second at the Olympic Trials but did not make the team because he had not reached the the Olympic “A” standard. He cleared the standard after the deadline, but his appeal was declined.

At the age of 35, Nieto wrapped up the "A" standard height at the New York City Adidas Meet on June 9. At that time, he told the New York Times that 2012 would be his final year of competition.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he told the newspaper. “I thought the best place to retire would be at the Olympic Games in the final and that’s my goal and God willing, that’s what will happen.”

According to, Nieto still holds the EMU men's track indoor high jump record of 7-feet-6 inches and the outdoor mark of 7-4.75 inches.

Nieto joins another former EMU track and field standout, Eric Alejandro, in this summer's Olympics. Alejandro will run the 400-meter hurdles for Puerto Rican.


Terry Star21

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Way to go Eastern Michigan....most of those athletes, including Jamie were coached (1967-2000) by Bob Parks, a true Huron. Coach Parks, now retired, is EMU's biggest fan and still starts and officiates track and cross country races in the area. Congrats Jamie - we'll be watching on TV.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 11:05 a.m.

a series OF near misses?

Terry Star21

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

Thanks A2....I don't feel so stupid now when I error while writing, it happens to the best of us......


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 4:45 a.m.

Way to go Jamie. Hey, is it true that EMU has the longest consecutive streak of track olympians?

Holly Smith

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

From EMU Athletics website: "EMU has had a track representative at the summer Olympic Games since Hayes Jones in 1960. The Eagles have had 17 representatives in 52 years, 14 men and three women." Not sure if this is the longest or not, but certainly impressive!


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 4:46 a.m.

To clarify, They have had at least one olympian in more consecutive olympics than any other university in the country??? I heard that stat at the hall of fame ceremony for Jamie earlier this year.