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Four-time Olympic sprinter is 1995 Cohoes High School grad

inset photoAugust 1, 2012 - Cohoes High School graduate Aliann Pompey will make her fourth appearance at the Olympics when she competes Friday, August 3 in London in the Women's 400 meters track and field event. Pompey, who is representing her native Guyana, graduated from CHS in 1995.

The Round 1 400 meters race is scheduled for 7 a.m. EST on Friday. The 400 meters is the longest "sprint" of the track events. Those who reach the semifinals will compete at 3:05 p.m. EST on Saturday, August 4 and the finals will take place at 4:10 p.m. EST on August 5.

Debuting at the 2000 Sydney games, Pompey also ran the 400 meters in 2004 in Athens and in 2008 in Beijing. She finished 11th overall at the Beijing Olympics.

“Aliann’s Section II record in the 400 meters stood for an amazing 17 years, until it was broken earlier this year by Colonie High School's Kyle Plante,” said former Cohoes athletic director and current boys' track coach Gene Culnan. “What’s so remarkable to me is that Aliann didn’t even start running until her junior year."

When asked what he recalled most about Pompey at CHS, Culnan said, “She was just a really fine student-athlete for us. What she did in the classroom, combined with her athletic talent and skill, was really something special.”

After leaving Cohoes, Pompey competed at Manhattan College, where she earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in finance. She is listed among Manhattan College's most notable alumni. Others included on that short list are top-selling author James Patterson and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The 34-year-old Pompey, who resides in New York City, works with city youth as Director of Educational Development for Armory College Prep. Armory Prep is an indoor track and field center that serves as the largest high school afterschool program in New York City. The program Pompey runs provides academic and financial counseling that helps students navigate the college admissions process.

Pompey is coached by Manhattan Assistant Coach Joe Ryan. Coach Ryan, who is also a team official for the Guyanese Olympic delegation, is also chronicling Pompey's progress and the group’s London experience with a blog that can be found here>>

Another alumna of the Manhattan track and field program is current Cohoes High School physical education teacher and track coach Angela Bernarde, who registered an impressive finish in the 2012 Freihofer's Run for Women.