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Logan Tom, Volleyball, USA

Published July 22, 2008 11:23 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

She doesn't get back to town much anymore, but Logan Tom remains one of the most accomplished athletes the state of Utah has ever helped produce.

The 27-year-old volleyball star was a two-time state champion and valedictorian at Highland High School who was named the national player of the year as a senior and a four-time All-American at Stanford. She also won a national title for the Cardinal, while also becoming the youngest woman ever to play for Team USA at an Olympics when she made her debut at the Sydney Games at age 19.

Her illustrious career took a turn after a disappointing fifth-place finish at the 2004 Athens Games, and Tom turned to beach volleyball during the offseason from her professional indoor career in Europe.

She figured if she ever returned to the Olympics, it would be on the beach.

But she didn't fare as well as she had hoped on the sand, and decided to return to the indoor national team after it hired a new coach in "Jenny" Lang Ping, the legendary former player for China.

Tom remains one of the most powerful forces on the team, having led the team in scoring during its Olympic qualifying tournament. Now, she's focused on finally winning the first Olympic medal of her life, to go with all of her other accomplishments.

Web site: None

Competition dates: Aug. 9-23

Timeline:

Born May 25, 1981 to Kristine and Melvyn Tom in Napa, Calif. Parents divorce when she's an infant.

Moves to Salt Lake City in 1990 with mother and brother, attending school but spending summers in Hawaii with her father, a former NFL defensive end.

Discovers volleyball talent in 1994 after a friend invites her to volleyball camp. Height, power and talent immediately shine through.

Wins first of back-to-back state championships in 1996 as a sophomore at Highland High School, after becoming the youngest member of junior national team.

Named Gatorade high school player of the year in 1998, despite an ankle injury that helped keep Highland from finishing higher than third at the state tournament.

Graduates from Highland in 1999 with a perfect grade-point average and several state volleyball records, and enrolls at Stanford, becoming only the fourth woman to become an AVCA All-American as a freshman after leading Cardinal to national runner-up finish. Leads Americans to eight-place finish at Junior World Championships.

Team USA: In 2000, at just 19 years old, becomes youngest woman ever selected to Team USA when she's named to compete at the Sydney Olympics. Finishes fourth, then returns to Stanford to earn All-American honors again.

Wins first of back-to-back national player of the year awards in 2001, and third of four straight All-American honors while leading Stanford to national championship with victory over previously unbeaten Long Beach State.

Having graduated Stanford in 2003 as one of the most decorated players of all-time, begins winding international pro career with MRV/Minas in Brazil. Later plays for teams in Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Russia.

Athens Olympics: In 2004, plays for Team USA at Athens Olympics, but ends tournament in tie for fifth place, burned out and frustrated, leaving the national team program and determined to play beach volleyball.

Beach scene: After struggling to succeed with various partners on beach scene in 2007, returns to indoor national team with several other veterans, eager to play for new coach "Jenny" Lang Ping, a legendary former Chinese star.

Leads Americans in qualifying for Beijing Olympics this year, after finishing pro season in Russia.