MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Former WVU All-American cross country and track athlete Clara Grandt will compete for a shot at the 2012 London Olympic Games by running in Saturday morning’s U.S. Olympic Trials marathon in Houston, Tex.
The race begins at 9:15 a.m. ET, and can be seen later on NBC from 3-5 p.m. ET.
Ranked as the No. 7 female marathon runner in America, the West Union, W.Va., native will aim for a top-three finish at the 26.2-mile event to be able to represent the United States in London this summer. Grandt qualified to participate in Saturday’s race by completing last April’s Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 29 minutes and 54 seconds and was the third American female (16th overall) to cross the finish line.
Grandt, representing Mizuno and Riadha at Saturday’s race, will compete with No. 1-ranked Desiree Davila (Mich.), No. 2 Kara Goucher (Ore.) and other top-rated marathon runners including Magdalena Lewy Boulet (Cal.), Amy Hastings (Cal.), Shalane Flanagan (Ore.) and Stephanie Rothstein (Ariz.). A total of 223 runners qualified to participate in the event.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Clara as well as the state of West Virginia,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “Lining up with the best marathon runners in the country to establish who will represent the U.S. at this summer’s Olympic Games is a lifetime achievement. To qualify for this race is a dream come true for so few, yet to be on the line believing that you have a chance to achieve something so special is truly remarkable.”
A day prior to the 40th anniversary of the Houston Marathon, the race marks the first time both the men’s and women’s teams will be selected on the same day and on the same course. The comprehensive coverage will be the first time that both men’s and women’s Olympic Trials have been televised on the same day. In addition to a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, athletes will be competing for a prize purse totaling $250,000 in each race, plus bonuses. The men’s and women’s champion will each take home $50,000.
During her WVU career, Grandt was named an All-American in three sports (2010) and also earned cross country All-America honors in 2009. She was also named the 2009 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Track Athlete of the Year.
For more information, go to www.Houston2012.com
. Twitter updates of the race can be viewed by following the hashtag #houston2012.
The U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon Press Center featured Grandt on Dec. 30, 2011, found here