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Poetic justice? Bennion needs tickets to Trials

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Oh, the irony of it all — a SLOC director who oversees ticketing for the 2002 Winter Games is struggling to find tickets to an Olympic trial event this weekend.

At work, John Bennion is SLOC's managing director of games services, which supervises ticketing for the Salt Lake Olympics. At home, he's the father of former BYU and Highland High hurdler Julie Bennion Murdock, who is competing at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

And at the present, he's scrambling to find tickets to watch his daughter run Saturday.

"Is that poetic justice or what?" mused Bennion, who was hoping to purchase tickets for family members and relatives to watch Murdock compete in the women's 400-meter hurdles at the 10-day trials in Sacramento.

Murdock is scheduled to run her first heat on Saturday. If she continues to advance through the qualifications, she could also run on Sunday and Monday.

But just as an athlete would "take it one race at a time," Bennion is looking to purchase tickets one day at a time.

But all the single-day tickets for Saturday are sold out, thanks to the fact that it's a weekend day and that the men's 100-meter finals — one of the premier sprint events — is the event scheduled immediately prior to the first heat of the women's 400-meter hurdles.

Single-day general admission tickets are $10, with single-day reserved seats running $20 and $25. Tickets sold in four-day bundles run $75 and $95 a seat. While the four-day bundles may be broken out into single-day tickets later, the uncertainty of single-day tickets and the steep bundle prices may keep more extended family members from traveling to Sacramento.

Speaking in ticket-management terms, Bennion projects that tickets will likely be available for Saturday, whether it be the trickle-down process of "the spot market" or through "scalpers."

"The worse-case scenario is that we just go and see what happens," he said.

E-mail: taylor@desnews.com