By BRIAN LESTER
University of Findlay track coach Marc Arce told me a few months ago that Raven Clay had the potential to become a track star at UF much the way Kirby Blackley did while running for the Oilers.
It appears his remark was right on the money. Clay qualified for the Pan American Junior Athletics Championship next month in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and to say this is a huge accomplishment is a major understatement.
Clay recently completed her freshman season at UF and now she will be reprsenting the United States on an international stage. She earned a spot at the games by taking third in the 100 meter hurdles at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene Oregon on Saturday. She finished the race in a time of 13.64.
Now she is headed to Hasley Crawford Stadium next month and hopefully she will rise to the occasion just as she did during a remarkable freshman season. Clay took fourth in the 100 hurdles at the outdoor NCAA Division II, clocking in with a time of 13.50, and earned All-American honors as a result.
Clay was an All American at the indoor national meet as well, taking fourth in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.49.
Her future at UF is certainly bright and no one should be surprised if she wins a national title or two just as Blackley did during her stellar career with the Oilers.
I'll see if I can line up an interview with Clay before she competes in Trinidad July 31-Aug. 2.