Kelly Blair LaBounty was born in 1970 in Washington and was recruited to the University of Oregon as a talented two-sport athlete. Initially she played on the Oregon Duck basketball team, but eventually focused just on track. Kelly's collegiate heptathlon still stands as the UO school record and ranks third all-time in Pac-10 history. She qualified for the Olympics twice, finishing eighth at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, and was sidelined by injury for Sydney Olympics in 2000. Kelly won bronze in the 1998 Goodwill Games for the heptathlon.
After retiring from competition she coached at Seattle Pacific University, and married former Oregon football defensive end Matt LaBounty. She returned to Oregon as a coach for the University of Oregon until 2008. She currently resides in Eugene with her husband and two sons.
Kelly is listed in the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame.
An Oregon22 Heritage Trail plaque honoring Kelly is placed at Charnal Mulligan Park in Eugene.
In honor of the first World Athletics Championships in the United States, the Oregon22 Heritage Trail celebrates 22 of Oregon’s iconic track and field stars with commemorative plaques developed by the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA). The plaques are located in the athletes’ hometowns or at locations meaningful to the athletes. Oregon22 Heritage Trail plaque eligibility was based on four criteria: achieving global medal status, no doping violations or connection to doping, retired from professional competition, and a resident connection to Oregon before or beyond college competition. The eight women and 14 men selected to be part of the Oregon22 Heritage Trail have combined for nine Olympic gold medals, four Olympic silver medals, eight Olympic bronze medals and numerous indoor and outdoor World Athletics Championships medals. Goodwill Games medalists and World Cross Country Championships medalists are also being honored.