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Local runner Zach Hunt to volunteer at Olympic Trials

Excel Christan runner wins spot at leadership camp

1:00 AM, Jun. 19, 2012 EDT

Zachary Hunt, Excel Christian School / Provided to the RGJ

No matter how big your television is or how crisp its picture might be, odds are you will not have a better view of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials than Zach Hunt.

Hunt, a senior at Excel Christian School, will work as a volunteer this month at the Olympic Trials, which start Thursday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The Trials run through July 1, and the U.S. Olympians headed to the 2012 London Games will be selected during the meet.

"Being on Hayward Field and being able to see all the Olympic-caliber athletes, that's incredible," Hunt said. "That's really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Hunt was chosen as one of 50 participants for the Nike-sponsored Youth Leadership Camp. Hunt and the other campers will listen a number of guest speakers talk about their own leadership experiences, in addition to working as volunteers during the Trials. Volunteer duties will include holding flags and fetching water for the athletes.

Though not a requirement, track and field athletes were preferred. Hunt competes for his school in 800 meter and 1600 meter races and said he is excited to watch races of similar distance at Hayward Field.

"It's just cool to see what can happen at the next level," Hunt said. "Once you reach the next level, a lot of it is talent but a lot of it is just work and how much you're willing to sacrifice. That's what I'm looking forward to seeing in these top athletes."

The application process included a short personal statement, a list of extracurricular activities and a recommendation from someone who is not a relative. Hunt's recommendation came from Justin May, his Excel Christian coach, who first told him about the program.

An opportunity like this for Hunt would have seemed quite unlikely just a few years ago, during his reluctant introduction to the sport of track and field as a freshman.

"My dad had pushed me into it," Hunt said. "I didn't really want to do it. I ended up just falling in love with it."




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