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With a song in her heart

Delilah DiCrescenzo with the band at the Grammy Awards in February.

EUGENE, Ore -- Delilah DiCrescenzo is better known as the inspiration for a Grammy-nominated song by the Plain White T's than she is as a runner.

The song is called, "Hey There Delilah.'' 

Fans at the U.S. Olympic trials Thursday will be able to say, "Hey there, that's Delilah in the final of the 3,000-meter steeplechase.''

Truth be told, DiCrescenzo, 25, is a longshot to make the team.  She had only the 10th fastest time in Monday's qualifying.

But the Columbia University grad from Chicago made such a startling improvement in her personal best this season, from 9:59.48 to 9:41.68, that she came into the trials as the third fastest U.S. woman in 2008.

The new personal best got her below the Olympic  "A" standard, which means she needs just to finish in the top three to go to Beijing, where the women's steeple will be contested in the Olympics for the first time.

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: Delilah DiCrescenzo with the band at the Grammy Awards in February. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times


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Take 5 minutes to do a little research, and you'll see that Delilah is the 3rd fastest in the U.S. coming into the trials. Preliminaries mean nothing - all she had to do was run fast enough to get to the finals. Her PR is 15 seconds faster than her time in the prelims.



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