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Running: Wood qualifies for 2012 Olympic Trials

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Local runner takes 21st at marathon in Duluth, Minn.

By The Staff

Heather Wood of Los Alamos finished 21st in the 2011 Grandma’s Marathon Saturday women’s race and in doing so qualified for the national Olympic Trials.
Wood, 24, finished the marathon, held in Duluth, Minn., in 2 hours, 43 minutes, 53 seconds, a little over a minute better than the ‘B’ qualifying standard for the Olympic Trials.
Wood was a former standout cross country and track and field runner at Los Alamos High School.
She is the second former LAHS athlete to make a qualifying time in the past six weeks. Magdalena Sandoval-Donahue also qualified for the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., May 1.
Wood’s father, Blake, finished one second ahead of her at the race.
The Grandma’s Marathon on the women’s side was won by Yihunlish Bekele Delelecha of Washington, D.C., who finished with a time of 2:30:38. Two other finishers from Albuquerque, Everlyne Lagat and Aziza Aliyu, finished ahead of Wood in the race, as well.
During her prep career, Wood was one of the top runners for the cross country squad in its heyday. In 2002, she finished as the Class 4A runner-up and helped the team to the first perfect score in state championship history.
The Olympic Trials will be held Jan. 14 in Houston. The top three finishers will automatically qualify for the U.S. national team.