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Triathlon - 24. June 2008.

Haskins Rounds out Olympic Team

DES MOINES, Iowa (June 22, 2008) -- Sarah Haskins turned in a stellar performance at the ITU Hy-Vee World Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday to earn the final spot for nomination to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team.

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It will be Haskins' first Olympic Team


The 27-year-old Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo. / St. Louis, Mo.), who finished sixth overall in the event, earned the spot when Sarah Groff (Boulder, Colo. / Cooperstown, N.Y.) failed to finish as the top American.

"My main goal was to win that spot. It's amazing [going to the Olympics]. It's been my dream since I was a little girl, just to be able to go there and have the opportunity to win a medal. It will be fantastic," said Haskins who had close to 50 friends and relatives on hand from St. Louis and Minnesota to cheer her on. "The biggest challenge for me was trying to get away on the bike, but it was a rolling course and I couldn't quite do that. But I was able to get out on the run first and it all came together in the end."

Fellow American Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo. / N. Palm Beach, Fla.) was the top American in Des Moines with a fourth place finish. Bennett earned the first Olympic Team spot last September at the Beijing World Cup. Haskins and Bennett will be joined on the team by Julie Swail Ertel (Irvine, Calif.), who claimed her spot by winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in April. She finished as the third American (seventh overall) in Des Moines. The replacement/alternate spot went to Becky Lavelle (Los Gatos, Calif. / Minnetonka, Minn.) thanks to her fourth place American finish (eighth overall) on Sunday.

Groff finished as the fifth American (ninth overall).

The full race story can be seen at the ITU website.

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