ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 16, 2000
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 21Jul00

Summarized by Eileen Bell

Blind LDS Athletes Set For Paralympics
Salt Lake Tribune 12Jul00 S2
By Jim Halley: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- This article profiles two talented young Utah athletes who overcome their lack of eyesight as they continually improve their running skills. Blaine Shelton of Layton has received his call to serve in the Alabama Birmingham beginning in October. But before that, both he and pal Trent Blair of West Valley City will be competing at high levels.

Trent Blair is legally blind, but will join the U.S. Paralympic team in Sydney, Australia, this summer. He's considered to have a chance to medal in the 200 and 400 meter runs. In Junior High, Trent played football and swam. Besides his ability for running, he also did well in the long jump.

His vision is considered "B-3". Even with glasses and a lens implant, his vision is blurry. The lines on the track cause him difficulty when he is cornering. Despite his eye troubles, Trent says transportation in Orem now is one of his biggest headaches. "I used to ride my bike all the time at home but I don't have my bike. My mom doesn't really like the idea of me riding it around here because she says all the college students here don't know how to drive. So I have to take the bus to practice, which has been a pain in the butt. I leave at 5 p.m. to walk to the bus stop, get to practice by 6 p.m. and get home by bus at 8:30 p.m. That means I'm gone for 3 1/2 hours for only 1 1/2 hours of training."

Blaine Shelton's barriers involve having to use a guide runner to help him along his cross country courses. While many are willing, not many can keep up with him. His corrected vision is classed as "B-2", which is less than 20/600.

"I was planning to run in the Salt Lake City Classic 5K [in 1999] when I lost my guide runner. A reporter from the Standard-Examiner was willing to guide for me. He said he ran and played soccer three times a week, so I figured he was in pretty good shape. We went through the mile marker at 8 minutes and he was dying. He stayed with me through a mile and a half and then I just asked him which way to go. He told me to take a left and then go straight. I ended up running the race in 20:49."

On July 21st, Blaine will run at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials. His guide there will be Wade Council. "I haven't told my coach, but I intend to lose Wade with about 200 meters to go" (in the 800, which he hopes to win in record time.) "We're going to have 15,000 people on their feet. They are expecting this race but they are not expecting to get what they're going to get, a time under two minutes."

They are both coached by John Kernan of Pleasant Grove. "Most of the time, I have to keep them from doing too much of the wrong kind of training. Because they both run in school, I have to make sure I augment what their other coaches do and not countermand it. That's tough and because of the different seasons they have, it's hard getting them to peak when they need it most." Speaking of Trent, "I believe that Trent has the ability to break the world record in B-3 in 400 meters and the 200 meters as well as medal in the 100."

And Kernan says Blaine's mission will be great. "When Blaine comes back, he'll be a man. He'll come back a lot stronger and his perspective and outlook will be different. He's already more mature for his age. Blaine is driven and has very specific goals."


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information