Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head track and field/cross country coach Shawn Flanagan watched Saturday night's women's marathon in the 2008 Summer Olympics with special interest cheering on his former athlete Liza Marie Hunter-Galvan who competed for New Zealand.

"I was glued to my TV Saturday night watching her compete," said the Islander head coach. "This was Liza's second time to compete at the Olympics and this was a much better performance. She was in the lead pack until the half way mark. You could she her with the leaders for about hour and fifteen minutes of the race. It was really thrilling. In Athens, other than the opening shot you never saw her.

"When you consider she was the oldest runner in the race at 39, and finished 35th in 2:34.51, it is even more remarkable."

She finished eight minutes behind Romania's Constantina Tomescu, who claimed the goal in 2:26.44. Hunter-Galvan placed 51st in the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

Flanagan coached Hunter-Galvan at UTSA from 1989 to 1993. She worked with Flanagan at cross country each year at UTSA after graduation and has assisted with the cross country camp here on six occasions.

"Liza is just an amazing person a tremendous athlete, mother of four and wife," said the coach."It has been very enjoyable to see one of your "own" have that much success especially this late in her career."