Omar Craddock had his sights set on London.

Prezel Hardy Jr. had his set on competing alongside Usain Bolt.

Neither will be seen on NBC's tape-delay in the next couple of weeks, though.

London was just too soon; 2012 wasn't their time.

Of course, there's always Rio.

In 2016, when the Olympics take center state in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Hardy and Craddock should be on hand and the only of their Killeen brethren there.

Former Killeen High state champion Tiffany Townsend and former Harker Heights star Isaac Murphy, who also were at the Olympic Trials in Oregon last month, both have decent shots at making the U.S. team four years from now.

As does Houston long jumper John Horton, Texas distance runner Kyle Thompson and Texas A&M distance runner Hector Hernandez.

In fact, Killeen track athletes could rule the Summer Games of '16

There's no way I can actually predict the future — not even Marty McFly with his 2015 sports almanac. That, after all, is a year too early.

I am just saying there is a chance — unlike this year.

Even if Hardy and Craddock both felt like 2012 wasn't too early, it wasn't their Olympic year.

Craddock was close, closer than any other Killeen athlete.

But, it wasn't quite enough. Craddock finished fourth in the triple jump at the Olympic Trials behind former University of Florida teammates Will Claye and Christian Taylor.

"It's a little disappointing, obviously, but, hey, I'm young, this was a great experience and I can't really complain too much about it — fourth-place in the U.S., I can't complain," said Craddock after the trials. "I'm just going back to the drawing board, get everything back right and just have a phenomenal year next year and, with God's graces, I'll be on that 2013 world team.

"My chances aren't over. I know I've got it."

Hardy, a former state champion in the 100-meter dash for Ellison, finished sixth in his heat in the preliminaries of the 100 with a disappointing time of 10.55 seconds and failed to advance to the semifinals. Hardy had come into the trials with a seed time of 10.11, which would have put him in the finals with ease. The time almost would have gotten him in the Olympic Games — almost.

But, it wasn't enough, either.

Hardy also missed qualifying for the men's 200-meter finals and finished 10th overall in 20.72 seconds.

Murphy and Townsend were in a similar situation.

Murphy finished 10th in the decathlon at the trials. Murphy finished with 7,368 points, nearly 1,400 under his best of the season, which had him seeded fourth coming into the trials. Townsend was second in her heat in the preliminaries of the 100 with a time of 11.36 and advanced to the semifinal, where she placed 19th overall (11.56). Carmelita Jeter won the 100 later that night with a time of 10.92 and moved onto London.

But, that isn't so bad.

They were within striking distance.

Horton, Thompson and Hernandez will be too, in four years. All were state champions in high school.

Four years from now, they will all be entering their primes.

Rio is a possibility for them. But, then again so is the 2020 games. They have yet to experience what Hardy and Craddock went through this year.

"Lining up with, point-blank, the best in the country if not the world ... I can stick my chest out about that and say I've been here," Hardy said after the trials.

Maybe four years from now, Hardy, Craddock, and a slew of other Killeen athletes could be there as well — in Rio — wearing the red, white and blue.

Contact Nick Talbot at or (254) 501-7569

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