Little-known Symmonds gives the U.S. big hopes in 800 meters
Updated: July 12, 2007, 12:13 PM ETBy Christopher Cox | ESPN The Magazine
Personal records and shoe contracts motivate most runners, but Nick Symmonds gets amped by proving that his overnight success in the 800 meters is no overnight success."Maybe people thought I was a flash in the pan," says the 23-year-old Symmonds, who finished second at the U.S. nationals on June 23 to qualify for worlds (Aug. 25 to Sept. 2, in Osaka, Japan). "But now they appreciate that I'm here to stay." Symmonds burst onto track and field's hot list last June. A month after graduating from Willamette (Ore.) University, a Division III school, he ran the 800 at nationals. He was unknown, unattached and wearing hisBishop Kelly High singlet, in honor of his coach in Boise, Idaho. He not only finished second to U.S. Olympian Khadevis Robinson, but his time of 1:45.83 was also a personal best by nearly two seconds.
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Christopher Cox is a contributor to ESPN The Magazine.