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Toomey Speeds Ahead

Toomey Speeds AheadOn July 12th, world-class runner and Tufts graduate Jennifer Toomey will attempt to qualify for the Athens 2004 Olympics in the 800 meters. Boston.

Boston [07.06.04] With the 2004 Olympics rapidly approaching, Tufts graduate Jennifer Toomey is focused on Athens. Described by The Boston Globe as "one of the country's elite runners," Toomey has been competing in the sport for just five years. But she's racked up a series of impressive performances during that time, and is now very close to securing a spot to compete for Olympic gold this summer.

Jennifer Toomey: Leader of the Pack [read more]

"Jen is absolutely fearless," Tom McDermott, Toomey's coach, told the Globe. "The most important tool for any runner is outlook and attitude, and she's got a tremendous passion for what she's trying to accomplish."

Toomey, who ran a personal best at the World Indoor Championship last March to take fourth place, looks to qualify next week in the 800 meter event - known for its precarious balance between endurance and speed.

"The 800 is always a kind of controlled chaos," the Tufts graduate told the Globe.

Over the last five years, this chaos has become her event. At 32, the Tufts graduate is at the top of her game for the 800, which (along with other middle distances) is often dominated by runners like Toomey.

"Unlike sprinters, who often burn out before 30 and unlike distance runners, whose bodies break down, the 800 is conducive to more mature competitors like Toomey," reported the Globe.

A champion diver in high school and at Tufts, Toomey wasn't interested in track originally. In fact, she "disliked track so much that she quit the sport," in her teenage years, according to the Globe.

But a bet with a friend changed all of that. In 1999, Toomey took on a challenge from a friend to who dared her to beat him during the Boston Marathon. She trained for six weeks, won the bet and hasn't looked back since.

Now, Toomey's competitive spirit has fueled her passion to succeed in the Olympic trials.

"No matter how good you get, you still want just a little bit more," Toomey - who also hopes to qualify in the 1500 meters -- told the Globe.

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