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Amy Begley - Aim High 2012

Special Guest Amy Begley
• 5,000 – 14:56.72 (10th fastest U.S. Woman all-time)
• 10,000 – 31:13.78 (4th fastest U.S. Woman all-time)
• 6-time U.S. National Champion
• 2-time NCAA Champion – 5,000i/10,000
• 15-time NCAA All-American (XC/Track)
• 6th 2009 IAAF World Championships – 10,000

East Noble High School (Kendallville, IN)
• 3-time Footlocker Finalist
• 4-time Indiana State Champion
• High School Bests: 1500 – 4:33 / 3200 – 10:24

When Amy Begley was 8 years old her parents often took her to the park to walk their dogs. But Amy was not mesmerized by the normal things happening in the park that a typical 8 year old would be. Instead she was fascinated with people who were running there. It looked fun. So much so that she would ask her parents if she could run. “When you are older,” they would say. Two years later she was still asking but this time to run the Mothers Day 5-Miler. Her mother thought this would be wonderful because it is 5-miles and by the time Amy finished, if she finished, she would be so spent she’d never want to run again. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Amy ran 45:44 to finish second in the 14 and under age group. She fell in love with running from that day forward.

In 7th grade there was no girl’s cross country team so she ran on the boy’s team where she was consistently one of their top 5 finishers. Starting in 9th grade there was a separate girl’s team and Amy excelled. “It was weird not running against the boys, but it was ok,” Amy says. Running for East Noble High School in Kendallville, Indiana she qualified for the 3200 meter run at states as a freshman. She finished last. Talk about motivation. One year later she won. In fact, no one in Indiana history has made up for a last place finish in an event at states quite like Amy did. She went on to win the 3200 three years in a row. She won the Indiana State XC Championship her junior year and placed 2nd at the Footlocker National XC Championships in 1995. The summer after graduation in 1996 she won both the 5,000 and 10,000 at the USATF Junior Track & Field Championships.

Not surprisingly, pretty much every college in the country wanted Amy to run for them. Enter the University of Arkansas that, at the time, touted a separate athletic department for women’s sports, great running trails and a coach that was a great recruiter. “It was the perfect size and just felt right,” says Amy. She says her freshman year was a big learning experience. In the finals of the 5000 at the NCAA Championships she remembers part of that learning experience as going through the 3200 faster than her best time in high school. She placed 4th. When all was said and done at Arkansas she was 2-time NCAA Champion (5000i ‘00 & 10,000 ‘01) and 15-time NCAA All-American. She graduated in 2001 with a B.S. Degree in exercise science/biomechanics.

After college Amy moved around a lot - first back to Kendallville, then to Albuquerque then back to Kendallville then to Atlanta. Nothing really seemed to fulfill her running goals. Then she decided to call Kara Goucher and her coach, Alberto Salazar, to talk to them about joining the Oregon Track Club Elite and training with them. On January 1, 2007 Amy decided to give it “everything I have” for 18 months to make the Olympic team. Her plans were derailed in January 2008 when she had plantar surgery. In fact, she didn’t even start working out until March. This really makes her Olympic Trials race even more amazing. She didn’t have the Olympic A standard of 31:45 so she’d have to not only be in the top 3 but also run the standard. She went through the first 5000 in 16:20 which meant she had to run the last 5000 in 15:35 or faster. Keep in mind that her college best at 5000 was 15:46. Amy took control of the race and just started churning out 75 second laps – one after the other. Amy would place third running her last 5000 in 15:33 to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games. Amy went on to be the U.S. Champion in the 10,000 in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 she finished 6th at the World Championships in the 10,000. You can hear Amy speak, meet and ask her questions..…at Aim High!

Amy currently resides in Portland. Oregon with her husband and coach, Andrew, along with their two dogs Sadie and Gabby.

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Contact: Jennifer & David Patruno
Jennifer: 315-303-7286
David at work: 315-472-0744

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