It's Official! Reese, Ulrich, Little Make US Olympic Team!!

The scene around the world-famous Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, is almost complete as the Olympics are on the horizon (Jerry Lai photo)


View the 2024 Olympic Track & Field team


It was a tense but perhaps exhilarating wait for several track and field athletes in various events. 

That two-week wait between the Olympic Trials that started in Eugene, Oregon, will have a happy ending in Paris, France, next month for Erin Reese, Jayden Ulrich, and Shamier Little. These former great Illinois prep stars will join fellow Land of Lincoln Brethren Tori Franklin (Downers Grove South HS), Zachery Ziemek (Lake Park HS), and Courtney Lindsey (Rock Island HS).

Reese starred at Prospect High School, winning the discus throw during her senior year. She initially attended the University of Dayton before transferring to Indiana State University. Reese won several titles in the DT and Hammer Throw as a Sycamore. She collected All-American honors in both events. However, it is the HT that she has excelled in, placing seventh in the 2021 Olympic Trials. Reese put together her best throw of finals in her third-place finish at the Olympic Trials. Her last attempt went 71.21m (233-07), capturing the bronze medal. She finished higher than four athletes ranked in the top 25 in the world in the event, including two of the top three ranked hammer throwers in the world.

Ulrich is from the talent-rich St. Louis Metro area, specifically East Alton-Wood River High School. She started as a novice sprinter as a sophomore before switching full-time to a thrower. Ulrich improved each season during her prep career while navigating the COVID-19 period. She set an all-time best in the discus throw with a toss of 168'1.75" in 2021. After graduation, she competed at Indiana University for two seasons, earning All-American honors in the DT and SP. She would transfer to the University of Louisville before her junior year as her coach accepted a new position. Ulrich won the ACC Championship SP and DT titles, taking second in the latter in this year's NCAA Championship. At the Olympic Trials, the 25th-ranked DT performer in the world, Ulrich, recorded a toss of 62.63m (205-5) in the finals, setting up the inevitable march that earned her a spot on Team USA.

Little is the final addition to the team. The 29-year-old Chicago native has competed in numerous international championships over her career but is an Olympian for the first time as a member of one of the relays. Little competed in both the 400-meter and the 400-meter hurdles. Primarily known for the hurdles, Little took flight in the flat event and advanced to the final, taking ninth in 50.96. A week later, in the 400H, she competed in the final and placed fourth in a season-best 52.98.