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National Holliday
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 06/24/2012
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EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon alum Becky Holliday qualified for her first Olympics with a great effort in the women's pole vault Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

"It hasn't set in yet; I feel like I am dreaming," said Holliday. "I have dreamt about being an Olympian for as long as I can remember and this is just amazing."

Before a Hayward Field record crowd of 21,809, Holliday cleared four bars, the last of which at 14-11/4.55m, to earn a trip to London.

Holliday, who won the NCAA pole vault title for the Ducks as a senior in 2003, finished as the runner-up to Jennifer Suhr, who cleared 15-1/4.60m.

"I think I am the oldest competitor out there," said Holliday. "I want to tell USA Track & Field not to forget about the older competitors. It has been a long career for me though. I have been a pole vaulter for 15 years. I just really want people to keep the older athletes in mind and that's all I can say."

Holliday had a first attempt clearance ay 13-11.25/4.25m, needed a second attempt at 14-5.35/4.40m, and was perfect on her first attempt at 14-9/4.50m and the final bar at 14-11.

"There is no feeling like competing at Hayward," said Holliday. "After I left, I felt like I had let my fans down because I haven't made an Olympic team. I just have to thank my loyal fans for sticking with me through everything."

Also in the women's pole vault, Duck alum Melissa Gergel tied for seventh with a clearance at 14-5.25/4.40m.

"I can't say enough about competing for a home crowd," said Gergel, who is currently a volunteer assistant coach for the Ducks. "Everyone is behind you. I feel lucky to be a part of it.

"It's awesome. Today there were more people and you kind of forget what you're going for and you get wrapped up."

Another UO alum, Keshia Baker, was sixth in the final of the women's 400 meters in 51.23.

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