Women's Outdoor Track
Hurdle Mishap Keeps Barnes from Olympics


EUGENE, Ore. -- After what looked to be a sure thing for former Louisiana Tech All-American Miriam Barnes to head to Beijing, the ninth hurdle in the women's 400-meter hurdle tripped her up and ended her Olympic dream.

Barnes was third overall before the mishap. Had she finished on pace, she would have earned her spot on the U.S. Olympic roster.

"The overall weekend was good," Barnes said. "It was a good atmosphere up here. Right now, I'm trying to bounce back and stay focused."

Even with the events of the day, Tech associate head coach Shawn Jackson pointed out that she has a long career ahead of her and she will only get better.

"We're extremely happy for Miriam," Jackson said. "Obviously, she's disappointed because she was so close. But we couldn't be more proud of her. This is not the end, it's the beginning of her career. There were a lot of people here that saw her run and how hard she competed. Considering what she was ranked when she came in, she really impressed everybody. Both (assistant coach Charles) Ryan and I worked hard with her, and she really made herself better this past year."

Saturday, Barnes became the first Tech athlete in over 30 years to advance to the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials after she finished with a personal best time of 55.35 seconds to finish second in her heat and third overall.

Barnes ran a time of 56.23 to win her heat in the women's 400-meter hurdles Friday evening. Her time was the third fastest in the preliminaries.