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From Ramapo High School to Villanova University to national and international fame, Debbie Grant has represented Rockland County better than any female track and field athlete ever has.

In fact, based on the quality and longevity of her 22-year athletic career, the graceful, quietly confident Grant has put together one of the greatest records of achievement in Rockland County, in any sport. To reduce her career to a set of numbers would not do justice to the impact the 1983 Ramapo graduate has had on the track and field landscape. But since the facts and figures best illuminate her greatness, they bear retelling here:
. Only three Rocklanders have ever competed in the Olympic Games. Grant came within four … . one-hundredths of a second of being the fourth overall and first for track and field. In the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials, she placed fourth in the 800-meter (half-mile) run in 1 minute, 59.97 seconds. The third-place finisher ran 1:59.93 in a photo finish. The top three finishers qualify for the Olympic Games. No Rockland track athlete has come closer to making the Olympics.

. In the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials – the trials are held every four years – Grant finished fifth in the 800 meters, missing an Olympic berth by two places. And just last year, in the 2000 Olympic Trials, she placed sixth in the 1,500 meters (the metric mile). In all, she has competed in five U.S. Olympic Trials (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000), more than any other Rockland track athlete.

. At Ramapo, Grant won the U.S. Junior National (under age 20) championship – Rockland County’s first – in the 400-meter hurdles, and thus earned high school All-America status. Her time, 59.83, is sixth-fastest ever in New York State. She was a five-time New York State champion; three-time Rockland County Track and Field Athlete of the Year; County record-holder in the 400-meter hurdles and 400-meter relay, and the indoor 600-yard run (1:22.61); and holder of numerous school records.

. At Ramapo, under the direction of Coach Jim Pollard and his staff, Grant helped lead the Gryphons’ small but talented squad to four straight Rockland County team championships and four consecutive Section 9 (Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan counties) team titles.
. At Villanova, she was a seven-time collegiate All-America; 14-time Big East Conference champion; member of the fastest collegiate 4×800-meter relay team in history; Villanova women’s record-holder for the 800-meter run (2:00.47); and a member of the Villanova University Hall of Fame. . In her post-collegiate career, aside from her Olympic Trials performances, Grant was 1988 U.S. Olympic Festival champion in the 800 meters; 11 times she has been ranked in the top 10 in the U.S., primarily in the 800; 14 times she has been a U.S. Championships finalist at 800, 1,500 or 3,000 meters; and twice she competed in the U.S. versus Great Britain Dual Meet. She also registered several high finishes in track meets on the competitive European circuit.

Today, at age 35, Grant, who is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, continues to compete in track and field, and is still one of America’s better 800- and 1,500-meter female runners. After earning her bachelor’s and masterÕs degrees in civil engineering from Villanova, she embarked on a career in that profession. Currently she is a facilities engineer for North Brunswick, N.J.-based Equiva Technical Services, a company that manages maintenance and construction for Shell and Texaco gas stations. She has two children, Kyle, 10, and Myles, 3.