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SDSU Athletes Chase Olympic Dreams

Several San Diego State University athletes are chasing their Olympic dreams this weekend. The track and field stars are a dash, throw and jump away from the London spotlight.

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Aired 6/22/12

Several San Diego State University athletes are chasing their Olympic dreams this weekend. The track and field stars are a dash, throw and jump away from the London spotlight.

Former Aztec Melinda Smedley

Above: Former Aztec Melinda Smedley

For most college athletes, competing in the U.S. Olympics is a dream and nothing more. But for five SDSU athletes it’s a real possibility.

Three Aztecs are competing in Eugene, Oregon this weekend in track and field events. SDSU will also be represented in coming days at the Jamaica Olympic Trials.

Shelia Burrell, a two time Olympic athlete and SDSU women’s head coach of Track and Field and Cross Country, said competing in the trials is an accomplishment in itself.

“If you’ve made the trials, you've qualified, you've made the standard -- you’ve got to go in with the same things you’ve been doing all year, but you’ve just got to go out there and have some fun. And I just say “do good."

Only the top three finishers in each event will earn spots on the U.S. team. Burrell hopes her athletes can experience the prestigious Games.

“There’s something about realizing that you’re one of a very few people in the world who have the opportunity to do what you’re doing when you go out on the field in Olympic Games -- in another country especially.

SDSU athletes competing for the U.S. team include Whitney Ashley (discus throw), Allison Reaser (heptathlon) and Melinda Smedley 100-meter dash.

Jamaica hopefuls are Shanieka Thomas – triple jump and Dorian Scott, shot put.

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