Scores & Schedule Close keyboard_arrow_down

Team News

McNaney Ends Up 12th in Trials Heptathlon

June 28, 2008  Eugene, Ore.  RSS
|   Share
Danielle McNaney finished off her U.S. Olympic Trials heptathlon debut in 12th place, Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

Danielle McNaney finished off her U.S. Olympic Trials heptathlon debut in 12th place, Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

Danielle McNaney, a 2005 Liberty graduate, corralled 12th place in the final heptathlon standings, Saturday evening at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field. She closed out her 5,593-point performance by winning the 800-meter run at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

McNaney braved the 90-plus degree temperatures to fashion a 2:14.65 for the 800 meters, leading the seventh and final discipline of the two-day competition from wire to wire. Her time was more than a second faster than any other heptathlete and elicited a loud roar from the Hayward Field faithful, as she completed her Olympic Trials debut.

The gutsy effort helped the Kansas native move from 14th to 12th place in the final standings. It marks McNaney's fourth consecutive top-12 finish at the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships heptathlon. She is one of only four women who can make that claim, joining 2008 Olympic Trials champion Hyleas Fountain, Virginia "Gi-Gi" Johnson and Fiona Asigbee.

"The 800 was what I like to call a ‘character run,'" explained McNaney. "When you go out and race hard when it doesn't really mean anything [for U.S. Olympic team qualification], it shows a lot of character. Coach [Lance] Bingham used to tell me that all the time."

McNaney did not get off to as good a start as she had hoped to on the sticky afternoon. She long jumped 17-6.75 and then threw the javelin 130-1. Although her javelin distance ranked sixth among the heptathletes, it was well shy of her personal best.

"The long jump was a big disappointment," commented McNaney. "It's been a battle for me all year. I looked good in warm-ups, but just didn't have it today.

"I didn't drink enough water during the long jump and started to get dehydrated. So, I felt really tired and fatigued in the javelin. Then, I fouled my best throw because I didn't realize how close to the line I was."

Despite enduring a somewhat disappointing second day on the heels of her best-ever opening day, McNaney cherished her opportunity to compete in the Olympic Trials.

"This was a good experience," remarked a tearful McNaney. "Since I was seven or eight years old, this has always been a dream of mine. I was really nervous this week during my quiet time, but my pastor quoted a verse on Sunday which really encouraged me—‘The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord. (Proverbs 21:31)

"So, when I went out to start the 800 today, I just thought to myself, ‘I want to remember and enjoy this moment.' This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me."

Senior All-American Clendon Henderson (Meadow, Texas) will be the next Liberty athlete to compete at the Olympic Trials. He is scheduled to throw in the men's discus throw prelims, Thursday at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.