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Voyticky to join nation's best this weekend in New Orleans

Kim Voyticky finally ends a marathon spring season in the 800 meters this weekend, and the recent graduate is going out with quite a bang.

Voyticky will face the best in the United States at the USA Track & Field Championships in New Orleans. This meet is the non-Olympic-year equivalent of the Olympic Trials.

For Voyticky, this is hopefully the first step that leads to success in the real Olympic Trials in 2000.

"So far this has pretty much been a dream season for Kim," coach Norm Ogilvie said. "She's near the end, but she obviously wants to do well this weekend. It's an opportunity to compete against the best."

Voyticky will start either tomorrow or Saturday, depending on how many entrants actually make the trip to Louisiana. That will determine if quarterfinal heats occur, or all athletes begin with Saturday's semifinals.

Some of the best American runners in the 800 meters may not be there, either because they are not in good enough shape or are just awaiting the start of the European season. Meredith Valmon, who has won the past two 800s in the U.S., is expected to race.

Ogilvie said Voyticky has actually beaten Valmon before, though Valmon's times are now around 1:59 while Voyticky's personal best is 2:05.34.

But this is only the beginning for Voyticky, who has improved her score five seconds in the past year. She has trained in Wichita the past few weeks and after this weekend will return to Durham to begin the next training phase in her budding career.

"She's ready to run a personal best," Ogilvie said. "She's definitely ready to run sub-2:05. She knows on any given day she can run with these women-this is her initiation into the big time."

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