Salling picked to Canadian Olympic Team

EUGENE – University of Oregon All-America shortstop Jenn Salling received official confirmation Friday that she was among 15 players chosen to the Canadian team for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The Olympic will be hosted by Beijing, China on Tuesday-Thursday, August 12-21, 2008, and the announcement came as little surprise to the first-team All-American who shined as the starting shortstop for the Canadian national squad three weeks ago in the China Cup tourney in Beijing.

The Port Coquitlam, B.C. native started all five of her games and went 2-12 at the plate in the third and fourth spots with a triple, had one RBI and walked twice. As a team, Canada went 5-3 and staked wins vs. Australia (4-0, 3-0), China (5-2) and Chinese Taipei (6-0, 3-2),

The Canadian team is currently ranked fifth in the world based on their finish at last year's ISF World Championships. During the summer, they registered wins vs. four other top-five ranked squads - Japan (second), Australia (third) and China (fourth) – and the squad also scored medals in 2007 in the World Cup (bronze), Pan-American Games (silver) and Universiade (gold) tournaments.

"The final selection decisions were difficult," Canadian head coach Lori Sippel said. "We have increased the depth of our program and the competition for positions on the team was a reflection of that. I would like to thank all the players who put themselves on the line for a spot on the roster; we will be a better team for their efforts."

The Canadian squad will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada in late January to begin centralized training and play several games against NCAA competition. They then head to Australia in March where they will continue their training at the site of the 2000 Olympic Games in Blacktown, Australia and will play against the Australian and Japanese national teams. April and May are set aside for specialized training before the team re-groups in early June. The exact schedule from that point on is being finalized and will include the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C., July 12-20.

"Now our focus is squarely on August 12, 2008 and the start of the Olympic tournament," Sippel said. ". We are putting together an excellent preparation program and I know that our players are committed to being at their best for the Olympics."

As a freshman for UO in 2007 in the spring, Salling rattled off one of the most amazing seasons in Pac-10 history.

The 2007 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year ranked second nationally in batting (.481) and first in the Pac-10 in RBIs (73). She also was busy rewriting the Oregon history books with single-season records for batting (.481), slugging (.837), on-base pct. (.590), RBIs (73), total bases (138) and walks (46). She was also a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and one of seven All-Pac-10 honorees for UO.

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