Vaughn falls short in Olympic bid
     2016-07-15      By Frank Marquez    editor@geringcitizen.com
Kay Grote/Gering Citizen Sara Vaughn (30.44) outpaces Cole Wellnitz (31.40) in the Don Childs Memorial Five Mile Run during Oregon Trail Days in 2014. 
After leading for three laps, Gering’s Sara (Ensrud) Vaughn finished in seventh place (4:10.28), ending her bid for one of the 1500m’s three spots on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team in Eugene, Oregon, on July 10, Sunday night.

She was passed by a host of runners including Jenny Simpson (4:04.74) and Shannon Rowbury (4:05.39), who finished first and second, respectively. Brenda Martinez (4:06.16) dove ahead of Amanda Eccleston by .03 seconds, so close, a photo-finish review determined the third and final eligible position.

In an NBC interview, wearing Gering Bulldogs colors and showing disappointment, Sara said she was being supported by her husband Brent who was there with her; her mother Alicia (Morrison) Warren who was attending her 30th with Gering classmates at Oregon Trail Days and watching on TV; and former coaches and friends in the track community. “I have no plans,” she said, regarding international competition or otherwise. “I’m just tired of traveling, and I want to spend the rest of the summer with my kids. I think this (trials) opens some doors.”

Sara, who may run in the Don Childs Memorial Five Mile Run during Oregon Trail Days next year, will miss the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month. In 2014, at her 10-year class reunion, as a member of the Boulder Track Club, the 5-foot-1 Sara was the event’s first female overall winner with a time of 30.44, edging men’s top finisher Cole Wellnitz, who stepped across the finish at 31.40.

After four years at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, where she earned degrees in Psychology and Spanish, and while competing for the Buffs, Sara received All-American honors and followed a successful collegiate career by earning a spot on the 2011 World Championships team in the 1500m, and was an Olympic Trials Finalist in 2012.

Eleven months ago, she gave birth to her third child, Cassidy, who joins sisters Kiki, 9, and Calia, 6. Sara has also been working full-time as a Realtor with Sotheby’s in Boulder, while her husband started his own business in 2013.

For more information visit olympics.si.com/olympics/us-olympic-trials-watch-online-live-stream-track-and-field.

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