Upshaw and Heaston Join Lewy as Cal's Representatives on U.S. Olympic Team
July 7, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. - Former California track and field student-athletes Magdalena Lewy, Grace Upshaw and Kristin Heaston will compete this summer in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Lewy, a current assistant coach at Cal, made the squad in the marathon back on April 20, while Upshaw and Heaston made the team at the U.S. Olympic Trials that ran from June 27 through July 6. In all, 13 current and former Cal track and field athletes participated in the trials.
Upshaw placed second in the long jump with a personal-best mark of 22-7.00 (6.88m). Heaston also placed second in her event, posting a mark of 60-2.00 (18.34m) in the shot put. Upshaw and Heaston were Cal's 2004 track and field Olympians, and are headed back to their second straight Olympic Games. At the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece, Upshaw advanced to the final and placed 10th overall. Heaston recorded a throw of 56-4 (17.17m), taking 12th in her group, but did not advance to the final.
Despite the successes of some of Cal's former track and field athletes, six-time All-American Alysia Johnson had a tough outing in the quarterfinals of the 800 meters at the trials. Her ailing foot prevented her from advancing to the semifinals, as she came in ninth in her quarterfinal heat with a time of 2:06.43. Johnson was in second place after the first lap and held that position through the first 500 meters, but then dropped back over the final 300 meters.
Although she had already punched her ticket for Beijing, Lewy participated in the 10,000 meters at the trials. She clocked a time of 32:45.06 to take sixth overall. Lewy wasn't the only member of Cal's coaching staff to compete at the trials. Volunteer assistant coach Kevin Davis ran in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, but his time of 8:52.50 was not good enough to advance to the final.
Two other Cal alums who just missed spots on the Olympic team were Travis Nutter and Bolota Asmerom. Nutter was in third after the qualifying round of the hammer with a mark of 239-01 (72.87m). He ended up in fourth in the final, although he did notch a better mark of 240-04 (73.25m). Running in the 5000 meters, Asmerom was in contention to make the team until the final 100 meters. He ended up in fourth place with a time of 13:31.24.
Former NCAA champion Kelechi Anyanwu took seventh in the final of the discus with a mark of 178-10 (54.51m), while fellow alumnus Rhuben Williams came in 10th in the final of the shot put (61-7.50, 18.78m).
Besides Johnson, Cal had four other athletes in the trials who competed on this year's team. Three-time All-American Ed Wright tied for 17th with a mark of 7-0.50 (2.15m) in the qualifying round of the high jump. All-Americans David Torrence (1500 meters) and Kimyon Broom (100-meter hurdles), along with Jake Hanson (400-meter hurdles), could not advance past the quarterfinal round of their respective events.
Lewy, Upshaw and Heaston will compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, from Aug. 9 to 24. The track and field portion of the Games begins on Aug. 15.
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