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      Volleyball gold medalist visits Marquette

      Olympic Gold medalist Dain Blanton was in the Upper Peninsula on Tuesday morning at Marquette Senior High School talking to the freshman class.

      Blanton was at MSHS because sophomore Elle Pearson won a essay contest, and as a result, he came to speak to the new freshman class.

      Blanton, originally from California, is an American beach volleyball player. He always knew how passionate he was about beach volleyball and grew up training for it. Now he's getting kids to realize making your dreams come true starts early on with hard work and dedication.

      "It's that they have to take ownership of their direction, and the choices that they make now are going to affect them down the road," said Blanton. "So I really try to emphasize it's never too early to start making the right choices because that's going to affect them somewhere down the road."

      "You can't let other people get in the way of what you want," commented Elle Pearson. "You have to be very driven to get what you want."

      Blanton will attend the school's volleyball game on Tuesday night, and he plans on talking to other schools in the U.P. sometime this week.

      This is the second time he has visited Marquette. Blanton visited the Upper Peninsula city last year.