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Locals shine at Olympic trials

by: JOHN HOCH - Lopez Lomong, a Lake Oswego resident, took third in the 5000 meters at the Olympic trials in Eugene and earned a trip to this summers London Olympics.After qualifying Thursday night for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team in the men's 5,000 meters, former Sudan Lost Boy Lopez Lomong now has his sights set on a gold medal in London at The Olympic Summer Games. Immediately after London, in mid-August, Lomong now plans a return trip to Kenya, where he spent ten years in a refugee camp and to his native South Sudan in order to help children and families living in poverty. The eight-day trip is part of long-term partnership between Lomong's non-profit, 4South Sudan and Team World Vision, a program sponsored by international Christian charity World Vision.

At the age of six, Lopez was kidnapped from his Southern Sudan village and held captive for three weeks as he was being prepped as a child soldier. Too small to undergo training, his fate would most likely have been starvation. But after three weeks, he managed to escape with the help of three other captives. After running three days and nights, they were captured by Kenyan troops and brought to a refugee camp where Lopez lived for 10 years. He was sponsored by a U.S. family and brought to this country where he soon discovered he was the fastest kid in school. At track meets he then discovered he was the fastest in the state. Soon he would become one of the fastest in the nation. In 2008, Lomong qualified for the Beijing Olympics in the men's 1,500 meters. He was voted by his teammates as the flag bearer in the Opening Ceremonies. Four years later, the young man who had so much taken from him - wants to give something back to the children of South Sudan.

Lomong has a book entitled "Running For My Life" coming out July 17th.

Elijah Greer, 2009 Lake Oswego High School graduate, recently competed at the Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR representing the University of Oregon. He was one of 32 men in the United States who had a qualifying time of 1.47. 5 or less in the men's 800.

The men's 800 was set up with 3 rounds to emulate the same process that the athletes will face at the Olympic Games in London which will be later this summer.

Greer progressed out of the preliminary rounds held on June 22nd where 16 men were eliminated to qualify for the semi's which were held the next day. At the semi's Greer continued to advance to qualify for one of the eight prized spots for the hotly contested final's race which were on June 25th. At the finals, Greer came in 6th place with a time of 1.45.40 once again achieving the Olympic A standard of 1.45.6 or less. Even though he attained the Olympic A time, only the top 3 men from the Monday evening finals who have achieved this standard get to move on to the Olympic Games.

Greer was the youngest man in the finals so he will be the only man from this group who still has eligibility left in the NCAA's. Greer will continue to compete in Europe this summer.



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  • 22 Oct 2014

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