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FDSH graduate qualifies for Olympics

June 23, 2012
By The Messenger Sports staff ( , Messenger News

EUGENE, Ore. - Lisa (Koll) Uhl thought she would break down and cry if she became an Olympic qualifier.

The tears never came, but that didn't keep the dream from becoming reality here Friday night.

Uhl is officially an Olympian.

Article Photos

AP Photo

Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Lisa (Koll) Uhl, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom and Amy Hastings celebrate after the women’s 10,000-meter finals at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Friday in Eugene, Ore.

The 2005 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate placed fourth in the 10,000-meter run during last night's United States Trials at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus, clinching a spot in next month's Summer Games.

''I figured I would cry if I made the Olympic team, but I was so happy that all I could do was smile,'' Uhl said. ''I never thought I'd be an Olympian. That's for famous people. I just can't describe it - unbelievable. Crazy. I'm still trying to figure out what it all means and how to react.''

The 11-time NCAA All-American distance runner at Iowa State University clocked a time of 32:03.46 despite having to stop and tie her shoe in the first mile of the competition. Amy Hastings (31:58.46) won the event, with Natosha Rogers (31:59.21) and Shalane Flanagan (31:59.69) next in line.

Twenty-two runners participated in the race.

Only the top three competitors were slated to advance, but because Flanagan plans to compete in the Olympics as a U.S. Trials marathon champion and Rogers hadn't established the minimum ''A'' standard time to make the team, the 24-year-old Uhl was bumped up into the No. 2 qualifying position alongside Hastings and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom.

Uhl was eighth with a time of 33:09.82 in the 2008 U.S. Trials.

As an Iowa State Cyclone standout, Uhl became the first woman in history to win four consecutive Big 12 Conference titles in the 10,000. She was named the nation's top female collegiate athlete in track and field by Honda in 2010. She also owns a pair of titles at the Drake Relays, and was a 10K runner-up in the 2010 U.S. Track and Field Championships.

Uhl holds the NCAA record in the 10K with a time of 31:18.07 as a senior in 2010.

Uhl, who currently lives in Portland, will now compete in the 5,000-meter qualifier back here on Thursday at 9:15 p.m. She was an indoor and outdoor 5,000-meter NCAA national champion at Iowa State.



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