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Bahreini takes U.S. Olympic Trials bid

I was so happy to have qualified for the Olympic Trials

Arya Bahreini from Oklahoma City University posted a qualifying time for the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon in the Jacksonville Bank Marathon on Sunday.

Bahreini, a senior from Edmond, Okla., completed the half marathon Sunday in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 26 seconds to beat the men’s qualifying standard of 1 hour, 5 minutes.

Bahreini finished eighth place in the 13.1-mile run as Jonathan Grey from Boulder, Colo., won the race with a course-record time of 1:02:47. The temperature at race time was 48 degrees with overcast skies and a 5 mph wind.

Forty-one men’s and women’s runners in the 33rd annual Jacksonville Bank Marathon earned berths in the U.S. Olympic Trials on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. Jan. 17 is the cutoff date to run a qualifying time for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be broadcast on NBC.

“I was so happy to have qualified for the Olympic Trials,” Bahreini said. “It was one of my big goals that I wanted to accomplish in my running career.”

Bahreini has become a six-time all-American competing for the Stars.

“Every elite athlete in the United States dreams of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon or on the track,” OCU cross country and track & field coach Conor Holt said. “Arya can now say that he has done this and has joined a very small club membership.

“Arya is a true example of someone who has dedicated himself to getting better every day in the sport, and it goes to show that if you have the right environment, culture and coaching, anything is possible. It's been a great experience for me to have coached Arya to this goal. We are really looking forward to Feb. 13 and the Olympic marathon trials in Los Angeles.”

In cross country, Bahreini earned his third all-American nod to pace Oklahoma City to its third consecutive NAIA men’s championship. Bahreini took third place with a time 24:15.1 in the 5,000-meter race Nov. 21 in Charlotte, N.C.

In outdoor track & field, Bahreini captured his second consecutive NAIA marathon title May 23 in Gulf Shores, Ala. Bahreini finished the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 13.7 seconds in the 2015 NAIA track & field championships.

In indoor track & field, Bahreini become an all-American by finishing third in the 5K in the 2015 NAIA indoor championships. Bahreini turned in a time of 13:48:40 on March 7 in Geneva, Ohio.

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