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Heber City Runner Finishes 21st in Olympic Trials

Talem Franco

BYU runner Talem Franco said it was an honor to represent his hometown of Heber City at the Olympic trials. 

In Eugene, Oregon last weekend, competing for a chance to run the 1500-meter in the Tokyo Olympics, he came in 21st out of 30 overall and did not qualify.

"It was super exhilarating to compete," he told KPCW. "It was a unique experience and way humbling to compete against world-class athletes."

The runners competed in three rounds of heats. Franco finished sixth in his heat in the first round on Thursday with a time of 3:40.58, then in 10th place in the semifinal race at 3:46.57 on Friday.

It was his second time in as many weeks running in Eugene after placing ninth in the national championships held there on Friday, June 11.

Franco graduated from Wasatch High School in 2013, where he was a multi-sport athlete. He just finished his last year at BYU.

"I'm grateful for all the support that I've received from the Heber Valley. I'm honored to have represented my hometown at the Olympic trials," he said.

University of Oregon sophomore Cole Hocker took first in the 1500-meter trials. He also won the national championship race, both times at his home stadium. Hocker will find out if he makes the Olympic team this week.

Former gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz, a University of Oregon graduate, came in second. One of his times met the Olympic standard to qualify him for Tokyo automatically.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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