T-Bird Alumna Kristi Koplin an Alternate for Olympic Bobsled Team
By SUU Strategic Communication
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Jan. 28 - Thunderbird track and field alumna-turned-bobsledder Kristi Koplin is set for a trip to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next month. The Southern Utah graduate will serve as one of two alternates for the women's U.S. Bobsled Team and will compete in the event of an illness or injury on the team.
The Cedar City native began her bobsled career in the fall of 2010 and earned seven gold medals during the 2012-13 season, competing as a brakeman at the North American Cup. She joined the U.S. Women's Bobsled National Team in the fall of 2013 and began competing for a place on the U.S. Olympic roster.
“It’s always exciting when one of our athletes goes on to compete at a higher level like this,” head track and field coach Eric Houle said. “That’s the thing about track and field here. If you’re good enough, your athletic career can potentially continue after your collegiate experience. To have Kristi right alongside these world-class athletes really shows what kind of athlete she is and her work ethic."
Koplin competed as a thrower for the Thunderbird track and field program and still holds the all-time school record in the hammer (196-7). Additionally, she holds second-place positions in Southern Utah's discus (165-1) and weight throw (57-2) records. She earned several all-conference citations and, in 2010, advanced to the NCAA National Championship, where she finished 12th in the hammer throw.
Koplin also participated in the ROTC while at Southern Utah and is a first liutenant in the U.S. Army and a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in nursing in 2010.