Former Duck Heptathlete Qualifies for Olympic Games

July 15, 2000

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Former University of Oregon athlete Kelly Blair-LaBounty was the first Duck to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Saturday, placing third in the women's heptathlon at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials at Cal State Sacramento's Hornet Stadium.

The former Duck NCAA Champion and Nike athlete tallied a total of 6,180 points to edge New Balance's Tiffany Lott-Hogan (fourth, 6,180) and Unattached athlete Nicole Haynes (fifth, 6,077) for the final spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. DeDee Nathan of the Indiana Invaders won the competition with 6,343 points, followed by Nike's Shelia Burrell (second, 6,339).

Blair climbed from fifth place after the first day's four events thanks to solid second day marks of 21-0 in the long jump, 151-7 in the javelin and 2:14.24 in the 800. Her first day marks were 13.72 in the 100 hurdles, 5-7 in the high jump, 44-0 in the shot put and 24.61 in the 200.

The Issaquah, Wash., native not only qualified for her second Olympic team but also overcame a series of injuries which had slowed her since her eighth-place 1996 Olympic finish in Atlanta. This past season she has trained in Austin, Texas with a new coach - one she credited with helping her overcome back injuries and achilles/soleus/calf muscle strains in May.

Other Ducks looking ahead to upcoming competition include Rick Mestler in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase (Qualifying - Monday, July 17, 7:45 p.m. / Thursday, July 20, 9:45 p.m.), Lisa (Karnopp) Nye in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase (Monday, July 17, 7 p.m.), and Melody Fairchild and Milena Glusac in the 5,000 (Qualifying - Monday, July 17, 8:45 p.m. / Final - Friday, July 21, 9:20 p.m.).

Full results are available at www.flashresults.com, and athlete quotes are at www.runnersworld.com

-UO-

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