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McKinney earns nationals berth - Odessa American: Sports

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McKinney earns nationals berth

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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 12:00 am

Odessa High’s Lacy McKinney had never run in the steeplechase before and she still may not have.

But the senior is still headed to the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships after finishing third in the 2,000-meter steeplechase at Odessa College on Wednesday.

“I’ve always wanted to run this race because it sounded challenging and something new,” McKinney said. “Plus, I am still getting my long distance workouts.”

The event was different than normal, because as a safety precaution for the athletes the water pit was not used.

A malfunction with the steeplechase barrier which goes in front of the water pit made it unbalanced and meet officials were worried a runner could trip over the giant hurdle and get knocked over into the water by it.

“I was kind of disappointed by it,” McKinney said, “because I thought the water would keep me cooler.”

McKinney is participating in summer track for the first time and finished the race third in a time of 8 minutes, 17.9 seconds.

“I thought I did OK,” she said. “But since I finished third out of three runners that is a bad thing.”

McKinney, who runs distance races for the Lady Bronchos and cross country, used a different technique than the other runners to clear the steeplechase barriers.

She vaulted the entire hurdle, rather than step on the top like the other racers.

“In practice we set up hurdles,” she said, “but it’s different than that because it is so thick and you’re afraid your back leg will hit it and it won’t fall down, it will just hurt you.

“(Tuesday) we ran it just to see and we hopped on top of the (barriers), but I thought it was a lot harder.”

McKinney said she wasn’t sure if she would make the trip to Walnut Creek, Calif. on July 24-29 for the national meet. Her parents want her to qualify in another event before deciding. McKinney will compete in the 1,500-meter run, 3,000 meters and the pole vault later this week.

Odessa, TX

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