Sunday, June 29, 2008

Olympic Trials day 3 recap...

EUGENE--In perhaps her final attempt at making an Olympic team, former Renton High and University of Washington discus thrower Aretha Thurmond threw 213-11 to win her second straight Olympic Trials title.

Under warm sunny skies before yet another sellout crowd of 16,500 at Hayward Field, the Renton High graduate earned her third Olympic team berth as she unwound her winning toss in round two.

Thurmond will be joined on the plane to Beijing by Suzy Powell-Roos (206-5), and Stephanie Brown Trafton (205-6).

Another ex-Husky, Cecelia Barnes, finished fifth with a throw of 186-8.

"It's been an exciting comeback and I am just enjoying motherhood. I think today was just momma-power out there," Thurmond said at the post-event press conference.

"I think the biggest thing for me was getting the rhythm and timing back in the event” she said in response to a question regarding the adjustments made on coming back from maternity leave last year.

"Everything happens for a reason and it just kept me motivated. None of this would be possible without family support."

"It felt good, but I thought there was a lot more in there today, so it was kind of a mix of excitement."

In talking about her Beijing teammates, she said, "The one thing that I have learned with this group was that it is never over, so I had to keep myself on my toes to respond and stay ready."

"I have been training really hard all year. I knew with this group of women it takes a big throw to win. I feel good to get a season's best today."

"After losing so much all year, you just have to keep plugging and working hard and you will get the reward."

Pole vaulter Brad Walker (on right, with Jeff Hartwig left & Derek Miles, center/photo by Paul Merca) earned his first trip to the Olympics, as the American record holder and reigning world champion finished third with a mark of 18-6 1/2, as winner Derek Miles jumped 19-0 1/4, with the ageless 40-year old Jeff Hartwig second with a leap of 18-8 1/4.

In contrast to the last time Walker jumped on the Hayward Field pit, the cross winds played havoc with all of the vaulters.

“In this meet, first, second and third is all first,” Walker said of the cut-throat do-or-die nature of the Trials. The job is done, and I get to move forward.

Talking about the wind conditions, he said that the later in the competition you waited, the harder the winds started to switch. He felt that opening at 18-6 1/2, which is lower than what he normally enters the competition at paid off. “If I had opened at 5.80 (19-0 1/4), I would’ve no-heighted.

He jumped today with the same pole that he used to clear 19-8 1/4 last week in Chula Vista, California. With a large pole, the margin of error is significantly higher than using a softer or smaller pole. ‘It’s kind of hard to jump high with a pole in your hands and your body going sideways with the wind.”

University of Washington junior Jordan Boase (left/photo by Paul Merca) made his Olympic Trials debut today, running in the fourth heat of the men’s 400 meters.

Running in the outside lane, Boase ran 46.31 to finish third.

As the runners entered the homestretch, it appeared the Bothell High grad was in danger of not advancing to Monday’s semi finals, as he was in a battle for fourth, but he made a late push in the last 70 meters to get the final automatic qualifier.

In the first heat of the 400, former Tacoma prep standout Craig Everhart finished sixth in 48.08.

In day one of the two-day decathlon, Washington State senior Rickey Moody from Puyallup and former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph of Club Northwest and are in sixth and 13th with scores of 4111 and 3896 points, respectively.

Results of Sunday’s competition is available by clicking here, following the date, then clicking on the event title.

No comments:

Blog Archive