Sunday, May 19, 2013
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March 13, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Nerves aside, eyes on the final stretch, Chris Olsen thought, why not do the unexpected?
"I was in seventh and I thought I was just going to go along with everyone," the Western Oregon senior said of his 800-meter final Saturday at the NCAA Division II indoor track and field national championships in Birmingham, Ala.
"But at the end of the race, I thought, `You're only here one time, you've got to make a move.' I felt smooth and relaxed and it ended up working for the best."
That move propelled Olsen -- in his first trip to the national meet -- to a fourth-place finish, a career-best time of 1 minute, 51.15 seconds, and the title of an All-American.
"It's probably the biggest accomplishment that I've had so far in life," Olsen said of the honor, which goes to the top eight placers.
Olsen, the ninth seed entering Friday's preliminaries, made his way into Saturday's final by running a time of 1:52.19 to finish in second in his heat and fifth place overall -- the top nine runners made the cut -- in the prelims.
While Olsen said the entire experience remains surreal, he's just happy to know that all his training and effort was worth it.
"Just seeing the hard work pay off in the end result -- I know now if you put in the hard work, it's going to pay off eventually. (All-American) is an amazing award to get, I'm super grateful."
WOU BASEBALL WINS SERIES AT NORTHWEST NAZARENE: The Wolves picked up their second straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference series win by taking three of four games at Northwest Nazarene Friday and Saturday. WOU (11-8, 6-2 GNAC) won Friday's Game 1, 11-0, behind the arm of Spenser Watkins (one hit in six innings) and 11 hits from the Wolves' offense. Scott David (three hits, home run, three RBI) and Matt Nylen (two hits, RBI), led the way in the game which featured a five-run fifth inning to break open the contest. WOU responded from Game 2's 8-4 defeat with a sweep Saturday, winning 8-2 and 3-1. A.J. Burke (two hits in eight innings, nine Ks) and Zach Nuno (one run in seven innings) each picked up wins on the mound while Blake Miller (four hits, four RBI), Daniel McNabb (six hits, triple) and Josh Wong (home run) led WOU at the plate.