Runners qualify for Olympic games on Friday
Hello from Eugene, Oregon Track Town, USA. The first day of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials is complete. What a thrill to watch the initial three athletes of this Olympic year qualify to compete in Beijing.The last event Friday night was the womens 10,000-meter run, and it happened to be the first final of the Trials. The race, the record, the smiles, the tears and the victory lap I just realized what motivated me to buy the tickets to this event two years ago. It is indeed a privilege to watch these athletes give it their all to accomplish a goal to make the Olympic team.Back to the race. Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher and Amy Begley separated themselves from the rest of the field after the first three miles. Each took the lead over the next three miles, but it was Flanagan who closed with a 4 minute, 40 second last mile to set a new Hayward Field record of 31:34.81 (old record held by Mary Slaney 1982).All of the events leading up to the 10,000 meters were preliminary or qualifying rounds. But they were no less exciting. The quarterfinal round of the womens 100 provided the fifth fastest time ever with Marshavet Hooker running 10.76. The mens 800 meter qualifiers were blisteringly fast. A 10th-grader from North Dakota moved to the next round in the womens 800, and the local fans made some noise for the Oregon runners.Speaking of noise, I went to bed Friday night with the name Goucher ringing in my ears. My wife and I sat in front of the entire Goucher crew from Colorado. University of Colorado alums (husband and wife) Adam and Kara benefited from loud cheers and chants of Goucher, Goucher, Goucher in the mens 5,000 preliminary round and previously mentioned 10,000. Go CU!Finally, it was great to see many members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team recognized in the opening ceremony. Names such as Willie Banks, Mary Decker-Slaney, Carol Lewis, Edwin Moses, Renaldo Nehemiah, Alberto Salazar and Mac Wilkins walked the track that they competed on 28 years ago. A little glory that was taken away from them due to the boycott.Today we will see a few more finals, including the womens 100 and the mens shot put. For complete results and information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, log on to http://www.eugene08.com.Hi again to Bryce and Bailey.Blake RisnerGlenwood Springs High School track and field coach
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