Reno's Lawrence qualifies for Olympic Trials finals

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EUGENE, Ore (KOLO) Reno's Mel Lawrence qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase finals on Monday at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials.

"This is the hardest part, I think that the prelims, that's the most nerve-wracking out of all of it I think," said Lawrence. "Everybody wants to get through and then after they get through they think about their next goal. But the prelims, those are tough. Those are scary."

Lawrence finished fourth in her heat, and 10th overall, with a time of 9:42.05. The top 14 runners advance to Thursday's finals. Her time was just over six seconds shy of the top finisher in the race.

Her older sister, Collier, also competed in the event coming in 34th overall with a time of 10:29.42.

"It's awesome, we've actually never been here together," said Lawrence about competing against her older sister. "One of us has always been hurt, so it's really exciting. I know she didn't have the race she wanted to, so it was pretty bittersweet."

Lawrence was the Junior National Champion back in 2006, and was a Cross Country All-American at Reno High School.