Bulletin Staff Report

EUGENE, Ore. — Former Howard Payne national champion sprinter Greg Nixon on Thursday will compete in the finals of the 400 meters at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials for a chance to represent the United States in the Summer Olympic Game in Beijing, China in August.

Nixon owns the fifth fastest time (45.20) at the trials going into the finals. The final will begin at approximately 8:15 p.m. local time and will be televised via tape delay on the USA Network beginning at 10 p.m. Thursday.

Nixon ran a 45.74 in the preliminary round of the trials and a 45.2 in the second semifinal to secure the spot in the finals

“It goes to show you anything is possible, with my start at Howard Payne to now my first full season on the world-class level,” Nixon said. “To run for a chance to represent the U.S. in the Olympics is amazing.”

Nixon — who did not begin running track at Howard Payne until his junior season — won three NCAA Division III collegiate titles at Howard Payne. In 2006 he captured the national championship in both the 100 meters and 200 meters, following his 200 meters national champion ship performance in 2005.

Nixon’s best times at Howard Payne were 10.43 in the 100 meters and 20.6 in the 200 meters.

After his time at Howard Payne, Nixon went on to become the 2007 U.S. Indoor 400 meters champion and ran for the U.S. in the 2008 World Indoor Championships, helping the United States earn the gold medal.