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Old 07-10-2016, 08:21 PM   #1
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Houston resident plays key role in U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trails

More than 20,000 people have shown up each day to watch the Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene and one of the most important set of eyes belong to Houston resident Fred Newhouse, the chief running referee for the trials.

"Anytime there's a yellow flag thrown, or a coach files a protest," Newhouse said, "then the running referee gets involved and makes a ruling."

His association with USA Track and Field stretches back several decades. Newhouse won gold and silver at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. For the Texas native and alumnus of Prairie View A&M University, the track in Eugene holds a special place in his heart.

"I made my first Olympic team here 40 years ago, 1976," Newhouse said. "So this track has special memories for me, especially being a country boy from east Texas."

Newhouse also will have an official role with the Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro. Despite concerns about the Zika virus, crime and political unrest he believes the games will overshadow any outside factors.

"There will be great games. They will compete well rain, shine, sleet or snow, and we will crown champions," hesaid. "Just like we always do. It'll be one of the best games ever, I predict."

Newhouse also added that becoming a gold medalist helped change his life and he plans to be involved in USA track and field for many years to come.

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