Three NAU athletes prep for Olympics
By: Raymond Reid
Later this month on the track in London, NAU will experience something that has not happened in school history: Three former and current Lumberjacks all competing for Olympic gold. Lopez Lomong, David McNeill and Diego Estrada all embody the strength of the NAU Track and Field Program under Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Eric Heins. The three runners have all experienced great success here in Flagstaff and now have their sights set on London.
Country: United States via Sudan
Events: 2008 Olympics: 1,500-meter run (3:41.0, 12th in semifinals); 2012 Olympics: 5,000-meter run (13:24.47, third in U.S. Olympic trials)
NAU connection: 2011 graduate with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management … U.S. flag-bearer during 2008 Beijing Olympics … Two-time national champion outdoor in the 1,500-meter and indoor in the 3,000-meter … 12-time Big Sky champion in both cross country and track and field.
Events: 2012 Olympics: 5,000-meter run (13:19.31, Olympic qualifying time)
NAU connection: 2010 graduate with a degree in Exercise Science … Nine-time All-American in cross country and track and field … 2010 5,000-meter NCAA outdoor champion and indoor 5,000-meter NCAA champion … 2010 1,500-meter NCAA champion
Events: 2012 Olympics: 10,000-meter run (27:32.90, Olympic qualifying time)
NAU connection: Senior, majoring in Spanish … Fifth in 5,000-meter at 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships … 2011 Big Sky Conference 5,000-meter champion … 3,000-meter champion at Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships … Four-time All-American during 2011 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons