Geena Gall qualifies for 800m semi-final - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Geena Gall qualifies for 800m semi-final

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(08/08/12) - The Olympic spirit is alive and well in Mid-Michigan.

It was an early start to the day for friends and family of Grand Blanc's Geena Gall.

At the Grand Blanc McDonald's- at 5 a.m. Wednesday - dozens of Geena Gall's friends and family crowded around the TV, watching a live Internet feed of her Olympic debut.

"I think I'm going to faint. I haven't eaten a thing, and I have all these nerves. I'm ready to just bawl," said Genna's mother, June Gall.

"I'm so excited. I'm getting clammy, and I can't wait to see her run," Genna's friend Andy Yancho said.

"I'm so nervous, scared, excited, everything. Number 1!" Geena's sister Kaitlin Gall said.

Members of the Grand Blanc High School cross country team came out in full force as well.

"It's so inspirational. I mean, I think we both look up to her," said Hannah Christensen of the Grand Blanc High School cross country team.

A top three finish in her 800 meter heat would guarantee Geena a trip to Thursday's semi-final round. With Geena set to race in the 4th heat, the unthinkable happened. Just as she stepped up to the start line, the live Internet feed dropped out.

Silence filled the room as everyone scrambled to their smart phones, trying to find out what they had missed during this once in a lifetime moment.

Geena came in fourth.

But hope was not lost. In addition to the top three finishers from each heat qualifying, six others would also advance based on time. Geena's time? 2:03:85. The picture was reestablished in time for the 6th and final heat, then it was just a matter of waiting for the final list of qualifiers to flash across the screen.

"Oh my God. She qualified! Holy, moly!" said Geena's dad Jerry Gall.

"So happy, so elated that she made it through on time. It doesn't matter. My knees are just coming back to life I think," June Gall said.

"She ran enough to get through," Jerry Gall said. "I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting Geena, but don't do that again, Geena, alright?"

Geena Gall competes in the next round of the women's 800 meter Thursday afternoon, sometime after 2 p.m.

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