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Alum to Coach at London Olympics

From Stuart Kaufman, Sports Information:

A former cross country and track standout for the Owls, Gary Gardner ’94 will serve as a coach at the 2012 Olympic Games in London which begin on July 27th.

Entering his 11th season as head coach of the cross country and track programs at UMass-Lowell, Gardner will be coaching Ruben Sanca, who stared on the River Hawks track and cross country teams and will be representing his native country, the Cape Verde Islands at the Olympic Games. Sanca, who will be competing in the 5,000-meter race, immigrated to the U.S. from Cape Verde when he was 12. He received his Olympic bid through a “wild card” system in which a country is allotted a certain number of entries for their top athletes.

Gardner, a native of North Attleboro, Mass., worked as an assistant at Trinity (Conn.) College and later as the head coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York before taking over the UML program in 2001.

Gardner, who also serves as the head coach of the Cape Verde track team, is no stranger to international competition, attending the past two World Track and Field Championships in Berlin and South Korea respectively.

See the full story — including reactions to Gardner coaching at a rival school — at

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