Utah's Chelsea Shapard (Photo by Doug Padilla)DES MOINES, Iowa (June 12, 2008) -- Just days before leaving for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, BYU team members learned of the tragic death of freshman teammate Chelsi Petersen. While the majority of the team prepares for Petersen's funeral which will be held in St. George on Saturday, members of the BYU team competing in Des Moines were searching for ways to show their support for their teammate and her family.
BYU athletes in Des Moines had planned to use black ink markers to write Petersen's initials on their spikes; however, an alternative, perhaps more visible way to show their support came from members of another team.
"Chelsea Shapard came up to us and asked if it would be alright for them to wear a blue ribbon on their uniforms to honor Chelsi during the championships," BYU team trainer Dustin Williams said. "She said she had some extra ribbon that we could use as well. So, each of us have been wearing a blue ribbon to honor Chelsi. It was an admirable thing for them to do. I hope they know how much it's appreciated."
Shapard is one of two athletes from the University of Utah who is participating at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Shapard is joined by teammate Josefin Berg who finished 22nd in the hammer throw on Wednesday. Shaphard reached the semifinals in the 400-meter hurdles. Shapard is a junior from Park City, Utah while Berg is a junior from Osthammer, Sweden.
"It was such a great thing for them to do," BYU senior Carlee Clark-Platt said. "It's important that Chelsi and her family know we are thinking about them. It is such a classy thing for Chelsea and Josefin to do."