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Addy among best in decathlon
Norcross grad aiming high at Olympic Trials

A certain tension comes with being a favorite at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, knowing that anything less than making the team is a failure.

Jangy Addy isn't worried about any pressure.

Unlike his college track and field meets at Tennessee, where he was typically the favorite, the Norcross grad gets to be the underdog again when trials for the Olympics begin this week in Eugene, Ore.

"You'll be excited and everything about being there, but I don't think there will be too many nerves for me," said Addy, fresh off finishing second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. "It's a good field with good competition. It should be fun."

Addy hopes to leave with an Olympic berth, but he realizes that's a major undertaking.

Tom Pappas and Bryan Clay are heavy favorites to claim two of their country's three Olympic decathlon berths at trials. But even if those two perform as expected and take two spots, that still means a third vacancy.

Addy and a group of seven or eight other athletes are legitimate contenders for that spot, as all have topped the 8,000-point mark at some point. Addy is seeded 9th with a qualifying score of 8,010 points.

"(Clay and Pappas), they're at a different level than anyone else," Addy said. "I guess everyone else is competing for that third spot. But anything can happen."

The trials appearance is part of a busy month for Addy, who just finished at NCAAs slightly more than a week ago. He fell short of his goal of a national title, but was hampered by abdominal and groin injuries that began to bother him at the SEC Outdoor Championships, which he won.

He's spent his time since NCAAs in training, while also being careful to nurse his injuries.

"Definitely, resting is important," Addy said. "It's a quick turnaround from NCAAs. You can still do stuff (in training), but backing off won't hurt you too much (with preparation)."

The 23-year-old should have time to rest after the summer, although he isn't sure of his future plans. He graduated from Tennessee in December and started graduate school there this spring, so the option of returning to finish the post-graduate degree is a possibility.

But so is a professional career in track and field, an opportunity that may happen in the coming months. Those hopes could get a boost with a strong showing at trials.

"It would be fun (to go pro in track and field)," Addy said. "It would be a great time, traveling internationally and being on the world stage. It would be an honor."

Visit the official web site for Olympic Trials

Visit the official web site for Olympic Trials

SideBar: Track and Field

What: USA Track and Field Olympic Team Trials

When: Friday-July 6

Where: Eugene, Ore.

Web site: www.usatf.org

Local participation:

· Jangy Addy, Norcross, Decathlon

· Drew Brunson, Shiloh, 110-meter high hurdles

· Stephen Harris, Norcross, Decathlon

· Kibwe Johnson, North Gwinnett, Hammer throw

· Natalie Knight, Shiloh, 200-meter run