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Vermont's Wheating out

Posted by Shira Springer, Globe Staff  August 20, 2008 09:35 AM

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BEIJING- When Andrew Wheating stepped onto the track at the National Stadium tonight (local time), he just smiled in amazement. The 20-year-old never expected to be competing at the Olympics this early in his career. But when he finished his 800 meter preliminary heat in 1 minute 47.05 seconds and failed to advance to the semifinals, it wasn’t quite the ending he imagined to his first Olympic experience. Wheating placed 25th overall in the first qualifying round. The only American to reach the semifinals was Nick Symmonds, who won his heat in 1:46.01.

“I should have been able to react a little better," said Wheating. "The first quarter is usually pretty slow and I just wasn’t ready for it [to speed up],” said Wheating, “The heat went out slow and then they dropped the pace from like 53 [seconds per lap] to like 49 pace. It was a bit of a shock and hard to stay with. I let them creep forward and I had to catch them. When I finally caught them, they got away again. It’s a rookie mistake. Hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson and I won’t have to deal with it next time.”

Having just finished his sophomore year at the University of Oregon, Wheating could be a contender in the 800 at the 2012 London Olympics. Next time around, he will probably enter a few more races between the trials and the Olympics, so he will be sharper for the early rounds. He knows he still has a lot to learn about the sport and race experience helps. After all, he didn’t seriously pursue track until his senior year at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. He has been rapidly rising through the ranks of US distance runners ever since, finishing second in the 800 at the US track and field trials in a personal best 1:45.03.

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4 comments so far...
  1. Well done Andrew.
    Next time.....
    Cheers

    Posted by Doug Pratt August 20, 08 11:56 AM
  1. "The next day it was about a six paragraph story with bare minimum information in the China Daily. Sad. No public apology to the family either."

    A minor correction on this. The Chinese president did apologize on this event when he met President Bush the day after the incident. And it was reported on Chinese media.

    Posted by Yves August 21, 08 06:58 AM
  1. Heard your chat with your "aunt" Pam when interviewed
    trackside by BBC Radio 5 Live..
    Very touched.My family here in UK (Granchildren)are
    Irish father/American mom (Mass)born in US.
    They are debating who they will swim for in London 2012.
    (All super swimmers)
    You did well.Hang in there and next time!!!
    Cheers
    Doug P

    Posted by Doug Pratt August 21, 08 08:37 AM
  1. Well done Andrew.
    Next time.....
    Cheers

    Posted by Doug Pratt August 21, 08 08:43 AM
 

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