BYU atheletes compete in Olympics

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    By Ashley M. Graff

    Eighteen Cougar women will represent BYU while competing in the 2000 Track and Field Olympic trials this July.

    The trials are the final barrier between the athletes and the Olympics. The top three finishers in each event, who have met the Olympic qualifying standards, will earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

    “It would be an honor to represent America,” said BYU high jumper and Olympic hopeful, Jeana Bingam. Bingham placed fourth in NCAA competition.

    However, one BYU student may not get her chance to represent herself, her school, and her country in this years trials.

    German citizen, Kristen Bolm, may not be running for her native country in the Olympics. Surpassing the Olympic qualifying mark of 13.10 for the 100-meter hurdles numerous times, with her most current mark at 13.01, the German government has put their own standard on who they will sent to the trials.

    Bolm, who is currently in Germany, corresponds with BYU women’s head coach Craig Poole through e-mail.

    “Kirsten needs to run a 12.90, twice, for Germany to send her to the trials,” Poole said.

    Although Bolm is the fastest female 100-meter hurdler in her country, it is unlikely she will meet Germany’s requirement and be sent to the trials.

    Canadian, Sharolyn Shields, also qualified for the trials. She is in Canada where she will try to qualify for the Canadian Olympic team.

    The U.S. Olympic team trials will be held July 14-23 in Sacramento, Calif. in California State University’s, Hornet Stadium.

    The USA Track and Field will host the event in conjunction with a Sacramento 2000, a local organizing committee.

    Aware of the stiff competition, BYU’s athletes are preparing both mentally and physically for the trials.

    “They are going against a whole different level of competitors,” Poole said. Poole will be accompanying the athletes to California.

    Hurdler, Holly Gibbons, said she has changed her pattern, or the way she is running, to hopefully improve for the trial.

    According to a press release from the USATF, “America’s finest athletes including Michael Johnson, Marion Jones, Maurice Greene, Inger Miller, Dan O’Brien, Bob Kennedy, John Godina, Gail Devers, C.J. Hunter, Regina Jacobs, Allen Johnson, Stacy Dragila, Charles Austin, Suzy Hamilton, Anthony Washington and many more will be competing for spots on the U.S. team for the 2000 Olympic Games.”

    Dustin Romero, marketing coordinator for the trials, said they have already sold 157,000 tickets to the competition.

    “We have already sold out two days of the trials and are very close to selling out another two days,” Romero said.

    NBC will provide live network television coverage during four days of the trials.

    For more information visit: www.sacsports.com and www.usatf.org

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