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Cougars, Utes make it a blue-ribbon day

SHARE Cougars, Utes make it a blue-ribbon day

DES MOINES, Iowa — Just days before leaving for the NCAA Outdoor Track

and Field Championships, BYU team members learned of the tragic death

of freshman teammate Chelsi Petersen.While the majority of the Cougars' team prepares for Petersen's

funeral, which will be held in St. George on Saturday, members of the

BYU team competing in Des Moines were searching for ways to show their

support for their teammate and her family.

BYU athletes in Des Moines had planned to use black ink markers to

write Petersen's initials on their spikes; however, an alternative,

perhaps more visible way to show their support came from members of

another team.

University of Utah hurdler Chelsea Shapard had an idea.

"(She) came up to us and asked if it would be all right for them to

wear a blue ribbon on their uniforms to honor Chelsi during the

championships," BYU team trainer Dustin Williams said. "She said she

had some extra ribbon that we could use as well. So, each of us have

been wearing a blue ribbon to honor Chelsi. It was an admirable thing

for them to do. I hope they know how much it's appreciated."

Shapard is one of two Utes who are participating at the championships.

She took 15th in the semifinals of the 400-meter hurdles on Thursday.

She was running on the inside lane in the second heat, finishing with a

time of 59.19.

"Chelsea didn't get out of the box very well and hit the first hurdle,

which threw off her rhythm, and she spent the rest of the race playing

catch-up," Utes coach Kyle Kepler said. "She ran hard and finished

strong. This was her first time to make the semifinals, so this was a

special deal for her."

Shapard is joined by teammate Josefin Berg, who finished 22nd in the hammer throw on Wednesday.

"It was such a great thing for them to do," BYU senior Carlee

Clark-Platt said. "It's important that Chelsi and her family know we

are thinking about them. It is such a classy thing for Chelsea and

Josefin (Berg) to do."