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Hazel Clark

Hazel Clark
Clark in Fiji in April 2014
Personal information
Full name Hazel Mae Clark-Riley
Nickname(s) "Peachy"
Nationality  United States
Born (1977-10-03) October 3, 1977
Livingston, New Jersey
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 121 lb (55 kg)
Sport Track and field
Event(s) 800 meters
College team University of Florida

Hazel Mae Clark-Riley (born October 3, 1977), née Hazel Mae Clark, is an American middle-distance runner who specializes in the 800 meters middle distance race. Clark was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 2000, 2004 and 2008. She has won six national titles and two USA Olympic trials during her career.

Clark was born in Livingston, New Jersey.[1] She is the daughter of inner-city educator Joe Louis Clark, who inspired the film Lean on Me, and the sister-in-law of fellow Olympian Jearl Miles-Clark. Joetta Clark Diggs is her older sister. Clark, her sister, and her sister-in-law made history when they swept the 2000 Olympic trials 800 meters.[2]

Clark attended Columbia High School. She receive an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she was a member of the Florida Gators track and field team and was coached by her brother J.J. While at Florida, she was undefeated in SEC competition and won five NCAA titles. Clark graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 2001. Clark was honored for her college athletic record when she was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2012.[3]

She finished seventh at the 2000 Olympic Games. At the 2001 World Championships, she did not progress past the first round due to injury. In 2001, she was given a warning for using pseudoephedrine.[4]

At the 2004 Olympics, Clark was eliminated from her first-round heat in the 800 meters after a freak accident where she was burned severely. She then had two good seasons with an eighth place at the 2005 World Championships, seventh place at the 2005 and 2006 World Athletics Final, and a sixth place at the 2006 World Cup.

In 2008, she won the U.S. Olympic Trials 800 meters final held in Eugene, Oregon and competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[5] She finished her 800 meters Olympic heat in fifth place with a time of 2:01.59, and did not advance to the semifinals.

Her personal best time is 1:57.99 minutes, achieved in July 2005 at the Bislett Games in Oslo.

Clark has appeared in three global Nike ads appearing in fashion magazines, stores, and billboards. She has been marketed by Nike as a spokesmodel throughout her career. Her husband, Wenston Riley, proposed to her on national TV in 2004.

See also


  1. ^ "Women's 800 meters features a full field", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 1, 2008. Accessed February 25, 2011. "Hazel Clark, a 2004 Olympian from Livingston, N.J., was the winner in 1 minute, 59.82 seconds."
  2. ^
  3. ^ " Florida Announces 2012 UF Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees," (September 7, 2011). Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  4. ^ USATF - Anti-Doping - Disqualifications and Public Warnings
  5. ^ U.S. Olympic Trials Day 4 results

External links

  • Hazel Clark profile at IAAF
  • USA Track & Field: Hazel Clark
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