By: Melissa Toupin
At Bryant University in Smithfield you can feel the excitement surrounding the upcoming Olympics. This year the Bulldogs will be cheering for one of their own as cross country and track coach Stephanie rely takes on the 3000 meter steeplechase.
“everybody's got there DVRs set and alarm clocks ready to go,” said Bryant University Athletic Director Bill Smith. “we're real excited to see her compete in the preliminaries on Saturday.”
Smith says Reilly,34, is a fierce competitor. She has been training for years and can usually be seen running all over campus.
“I think she's going to do outstanding. We fully expect her to be in the finals,” said Smith.
Reilly is from Ireland and will represent her home country in the games. Prior to her heading to London, the University talked to Reilly about her thoughts on competing in this summer's Olympics.
“it's exciting,” said Reilly. “it's one of these opportunities you're probably only going to have once in a life time. I want to take it in. Take it all in.”
Reilly has only been competing in her event for 3 years. The steeplechase involves a 2 1/2 mile run that includes hurdles and water barriers. This will be Reilly's first trip to the Olympics.
“as a kid everyone grows up and who would not want to become an Olympian?” said Smith. “and for her to accomplish it at this stage in her life is just an incredible feat.