ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It's no surprise Prairie Seeds Academy is winning 100-meter races. Their coach is a pretty good sprinter himself.
But do the high school track athletes even know their coach is an Olympian? "No, I like it that way though," Roman Cress admits.
Cress, a 35-year-old who trains at his alma mater, St. Thomas, is trying to go back to the Olympics.
He competed in the 100-meter dash at the Beijing games. The result in China was a last place finish. Cress was blown out in a preliminary heat by Jamaican Asafa Powell.
"I think I went backwards when I was supposed to go forward. It was bad. I was kinda shellshocked because I walked in there and there was all these people," Cress recalls.
He had never been on a stage like that before, but he wants a shot at redemption. "I'm not last place material. I'll do better this time, I'll guarantee that" he said.
Cress may live and work here in the Twin Cities, but he competes for the Marshall Islands. His native country is five and a half hours southwest of Hawaii.
"Our islands are just flat. Straight coral reefs, white sand beaches and coconut trees. There's not much to it. If a typhoon comes, it's bad news," Cress remarked.
And if he keeps training hard and tearing up the track, maybe he'll help make the Marshall Islands even more prominent on the map.
Cress will learn his Olympic fate in late June.
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