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Symmonds Sizzles in National Races

Once again, the spotlight is on recent chemistry graduate Nick Symmonds '06, who won the national title in the 800 meters at the 2007 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in February. "I come to these races really hungry," he said.

Racing six weeks after getting his diploma last May, Symmonds captured national attention when he finished second in the 800 meters at the outdoor track and field championships. "It was a surreal feeling," he said, "because I knew I'd made a name for myself. It's crazy. A minute and 45 seconds of work." He soon found himself with an agent and a Nike contract.

The Boise, Idaho, native had raced to victory earlier in the 800 meters at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games and in the mile run at the 2007 Washington Indoor Preview; there he broke the four-minute mark at 3:56.72.

Symmond's recent victory was aired on ESPN2 and covered by The New York Times and the Boston Globe, and he claimed center stage on numerous websites, including USA Track and Field. Newspaper headlines say he "sizzles" and bloggers call him a "legend" and rave "Unbelievable," "Nick is the best racer I have ever seen," "He runs his own race."

The website letsrun.com said "Track and field's newest sensation, Nick Symmonds, continued to be red red hot. In his first indoor race ever, he ran a 3:56 mile all by himself. Today in his first race on a banked track, he captured the men's 800 in 1:48.15. Symmonds is so raw and talented it's unreal. We think we should devote a whole week of the website to just him.

"When asked if this was his first time on a banked track, Symmonds said it wasn't. 'No no, I got out here last night and was able to run some curves and come up with a game plan.'

"Are you serious? The kid is unreal."

Symmonds is running -- 70 miles a week -- toward qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Olympic trials and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials will be held in Eugene, Ore., at the University of Oregon. The trials are the world's largest national championship track meet and include more than 1,000 athletes who compete for the right to represent the United States at the Olympics. More than 350,000 people attended the last two trials.