High Jumper Finally Clears Qualifying Height, Makes Team

Associated Press

All that separated Amber Welty from a spot in the Summer Olympics at Barcelona was a jump of 6 feet 3 1/2.

Not anymore. Welty, a former Idaho State standout who is now an assistant coach at that school, on Friday earned one of the three high jump spots on the U.S. Olympic team when she cleared that height in a special competition at Boise State.

Welty finished second in the Olympic trials with a jump of 6-2 1/4, but she failed to reach the Olympic qualifying mark of 6-3 1/2.

"This is way more pressure than the trials," said Welty, who won the 1988 NCAA Championships at 6-3 1/2. "I knew I would jump well. After my first attempt (5-11), it was incredible. I said, 'You're going to make it today.' "

By cementing her place on the team, she erased the chances of competitor and friend, Vicki Borsheim of Tucson.

"If I didn't make it, I wanted Vicki to," Welty said.

To make the informal all-comers competition at Boise State official, three people from The Athletics Congress were present.

Also taking part in the competition was Olympic heptathlete Cindy Greiner of Boise. But she dropped out at 5-11.

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