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Versatility is Sharon Day's way

Former Cal Poly two-sport standout Sharon Day will be seeking to make the U.S. Olympic in the heptathlon after qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the high jump.
Former Cal Poly two-sport standout Sharon Day will be seeking to make the U.S. Olympic in the heptathlon after qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the high jump. jmellom@thetribunenews.com

The heptathlon is made up of seven track and field events, seven unique challenges. One for each day of the week.

In a recent training session U.S. heptathlon champion Sharon Day was working on her speed at the Cal Poly track with her coach Jack Hoyt, a Mustang assistant.

Day will be competing in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on June 29-30 in Eugene, Ore. The heptathlon consists of the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 800-meter run, shot put, javelin, high jump and long jump.

The Trials begin Friday and run through July 1 at Hayward Field.

Hoyt’s coaching style employs both technical expertise and cajoling and in the midst of some good natured trash talking, he challenged Day to run 100 meters with a running start under 11 seconds. The challenge came with an incentive: If Day broke 11 seconds, Hoyt would run a 400 all out.“You’re an evil woman,” Hoyt shouted at Day laughing after clocking her in 10.85 seconds.

“She blistered it,” Hoyt said later. “Sharon never sells herself short when competing.”

Day’s competitiveness, work ethic, and focus — not to mention her ability to multi-task— has led the Costa Mesa High and Cal Poly graduate to the cusp of competing in a second Olympic Games this summer.

Day, 27, will be the favorite in the heptathlon with an eye on even bigger things in London.

Day, a 2008 Olympian in the high jump, has the top two U.S. heptathlon scores this season and her best mark, 6,337, the early season world leader, is nearly 200 points better than the next best American mark of 6,143 by Bettie Wade. With 2008 Olympic heptathlon silver medalist Hyleas Fountain battling a neck injury, Wade is the only U.S. heptathlete besides Day over 6,000 points so far in 2012.

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