Chicagoland Throws

June 11, 2013

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My week started with a competition in Paris on Monday June 3rd, Rome on Thursday June 6th and then I finished the week throwing on Saturday June 8th in Chicago.  After spening friday flying from Rome to Chicago I wasnt sure how much was left in the tank but I was able to take all 6 throws and had a really good time.  The format was mixed was mixed men and women and also the top highschool kids which made it really fun.  Everyone cheered for one another and we had a nice crowd for a throws only meet.  A highlight for me was my cousin who lives in the area was able to come and bring her two daughters and watch me throw live!!  My throws were not anything super but consistent and my best was 59.54m.  We threw in 2 flights of 16 so I was 2nd in my flight but 3rd overall.  After the meet we got to hang out in downtown Chicago and watch the fireworks from the Navy Pier.  I was going to stop by Oprah’s house but I figured she wasn’t home.  Spending the evening with the top US throwers PRICELESS(Wild).

 

Up Next USA’s in Des Moines, IA June 23rd…

 View more photos from the meet on my UNATION page

Join me on UNATION

 

Chicagoland’s facebook page

 

 

 

Jamaica 2013

May 5, 2013

jafront1.jpgHey Mon!! I really enjoyed the Jamaica Invite.  We stayed in a very nice hotel and they served the best food.  We had a special dinner before the meet, they put on a spread of every “ting” Jamaican including my favorite coconut water.  The way everything was spiced was a great food experience and the sweet potatoes were outstanding.  The weather was hot it was 88 by day and 85 by night.  We had beautiful sunny mornings and early afternoons then by late afternoon tropical rain storms rolled in.  On competition day we again had a beautiful morning and about 4 hours before the meet was to start the skies turned dark and in came the rain.  We got lucky however and it blew over with only about a 45min delay of all the events.  Considering we were held up by the rain we still had an awesome meet and some outstanding performances.  I did not throw like I wanted but I still finished in 2nd place and got a beautiful picture to bring home. Up next Doha, Qatar on May 10th…. For complete meet results                 To see more pictures from the trip visit my UNATION page

Tiger Classic 2013

April 6, 2013

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Well my 2013 season is officially underway.  Thank you to everyone for all your support and a special thanks for all who came out to cheer.  It really helps a lot.  We had a beautiful day in Auburn, AL.  I didn’t have any expectations for the meet, just to get started and see where I am at in my training.  It’s hard to train for almost 7 months with no competitions.  Now I know what we need to continue to do to progress through out the season.  I finished in 1st place with a throw 60.20 meters.  Up next is the War Eagle Invite, in Auburn, AL on April 20th.

Women’s discus results 

London 2012

August 16, 2012

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It’s hard to give a recap of such a wonderful experience, but I’ll give it a try.  Our pre Olympic training camp was based in Birmingham, England where they pulled out the red carpet to help us feel at home.  One of the nice things about training camp is the opportunity to get to know the staff, medical and do some team bonding, since this is the crew you’ll spend the next month of your life with.   Our set up was very peaceful and relaxing and our practice facility was top notch.  Instead of our usual talent show we did a karaoke night instead and it was awesome to see folks come out of their shells and show personality.  Our star performers,

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Then we left our serenity to a small city known as the Olympic Village.  Move in day was a giant easter egg hunt when it came to finding our luggage,

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It took a few days to figure out the lay out, where to eat, catch the bus and how to get to the closet tube station.  My first event as Team Captain was breakfast with the 1st Lady Mrs. Obama.  She was just as excited to meet us as we were to meet her.

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I prepared as well as I possibility could for my competition and was ready to go.  My rhythm was the best I felt all season but I didn’t throw far enough to advance from qualifying to finals.  Although I was disappointed I left the stadium with head high knowing I did all I could do that day.  It was an honor to throw in front of my son and family and have them share the experience with me.

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I was able to tour London with my family,

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We finished most of our days with dinner at the P&G House, which was a really cool place for the whole family to hang out, relax and eat.  A big Thanks to P&G for taking such great care of our Mom’s and families while in London.

Then before I knew it, closing ceremonies was upon us,

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Even though this was my 4th Olympics, it too was a great experince that I will never forget.

Thanks again to my sponsors, family, friends and supporters over the years.

To see how everyone did visit, www.london2012.com

Help My Family get London

June 29, 2012

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Be part of the Olympic Dream and help my family get to London.

Visit this link to DONATE

Olympic Trials 2012

June 11, 2012

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Here are 2 links with helpful information about the upcoming Olympic Trials,

USATF 

TrackTown

Here is the TV Schedule for the Olympic Trials

Up Next…Pre Classic 2012

May 21, 2012

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The next stop for the women’s discus on the Diamond League circuit is the Pre Classic in Eugene, OR.  This will be a 2 day meet with the several events on Friday June 1st, including the women’s throws.  The Friday session will have NO admission charge, so if you’re in the area come out and enjoy an exciting night of Track and Field.

Here is the press release for the women’s throws,

Eugene, Oregon—Gold should be the color of choice for the women’s throwers confirmed to compete at this year’s Prefontaine Classic, a major stop on the road to the 2012 London Olympics.  Four of the contestants have won Olympic or World Championships gold medals among their collection of honors in the hammer and discus throws.

The 38th annual Pre Classic will be held June 1-2 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The Friday portion of this year’s edition has been named Hollister Night at Hayward, in tribute to the late Geoff Hollister.  Admission is free on Friday, thanks to long-time sponsor NIKE, in tribute to Hollister, one of the original executives at the company.  Both of the women’s throwing events are included in the free portion of this year’s Pre Classic.

The women’s hammer throw brings together a glittering collection highlighted by three World Championships gold medalists and five of the top six ranked throwers in the world last year, according to Track & Field News.  The group also includes the last three year’s No. 1 throwers in the world, and four in the last six years.

Three of the throwers have set world records, including the current holder, Betty Heidler of Germany.  Heidler set her mark of 260-7 (79.42) last May and later in August earned her second consecutive World Championships silver.  She won the gold medal in 2007, but more recently she has been ranked No. 1 in the world by T&FN in 2010 and 2011.

Two other world record setters are in the field, including Tatyana Lysenko of Russia.  Lysenko won the gold in the World Championships last year in defeating Heidler.  The third world record setter is Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, the 2009 World Championships gold medalist and owner of the world record that Heidler broke.

The stellar fields gets even better with two more of last year’s top six, Wenxiu Zhang of China and Kathrin Klaas of Germany.  Zhang, ranked No. 3 in the world last year, has taken an early world lead by increasing her PR to a world-leading 248-5 (75.72).  She was bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics as well as the 2007 and 2011 World Championships. Klaas, ranked No. 5 last year, was ranked No. 4 in the world in both 2009 and 2010.

The hammer field doesn’t end there.  Add to that group a pair of Americans and a Canadian:  Jessica CosbyAmber Campbell, and Sultana Frizell.  Cosby is a four-time U.S. champ and No. 10 in the world last year, and Campbell and Frizell are 2008 Olympians.  Cosby earlier this year increased her PR to 241-10 (73.71), just six inches short of the American record.  Campbell is the third-longest thrower in American history at 238-2 (72.59).  Frizell, of Canada, earlier this year increased her PR to 246-2 (75.04).

Women’s Hammer Throw
Betty Heidler (Germany)
Tatyana Lysenko (Russia)
Wenxiu Zhang (China)
Kathrin Klaas (Germany)
Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland)
Amber Cambell (USA)
Jessica Cosby (USA)
Sultana Frizell (Canada)

The women’s discus throw is one of 16 elite events in the meet designated as part of the worldwide Samsung Diamond League.  The field features reigning Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown-Trafton of the U.S.  She is the only American to ever be ranked No. 1 in the world in the women’s discus by T&FN (2008).

Brown-Trafton will have plenty of competition.  The field includes a select group of the world’s best, including Aretha Thurmond of the U.S., Zaneta Glanc of Poland, and Sandra Perkovic of Croatia. Thurmond, a four-time U.S. champion, is a three-time Olympian who was ranked No. 7 in the world last year by T&FN.  Glanc, who has finished fourth in the last two World Championships, was ranked No. 4 in the world last year, as she was in 2009.  Perkovic was ranked No. 2 in the world in 2010 and had the second-longest throw in the world last year (222-11).

Two more Olympians join the fray in Kateryna Karsak of Ukraine and former two-time World Junior gold medalist Xuejun Ma of China.  Also included are two more with World Championships experience: American Gia Lewis-Smallwood and Darya Pishchalnikova of Russia.

With the addition of the women’s throwing events to the previously announced women’s 10K and men’s 5K, 12 athletes in this year’s Prefontaine Classic have won a total of 32 Olympic or World Championships medals (19 gold, 5 silver, 8 bronze).

Women’s Discus Throw
Stephanie Brown-Trafton (USA)
Aretha Thurmond (USA)
Zaneta Glanc (Poland)
Kateryna Karsak (Ukraine)
Darya Pishchalnikova (Russia)
Gia Lewis-Smallwood (USA)
Sandra Perkovic (Croatia)
Xuejun Ma (China)

5K Update A late addition to the recently announced men’s 5K is Augustine Choge of Kenya.  He was the silver medalist at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year in Istanbul in the 3000 meters, an event in which he still owns the World Junior Record (7:28.78 in 2005).  Choge was a finalist in the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships in the 1500 and has incredible range (PRs or 3:29.47 in the 1500 and 12:53.66 in the 5000).

Tickets for Saturday’s 38th annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held June 2nd at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are on sale now from www.preclassic.com and from 1-800-WEBFOOT.  Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and on NBC from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 2.

The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track and field meet in America and is part of the elite Samsung Diamond League of 14 meets held worldwide annually.  Last year’s Pre Classic results ranked highest among all of the 14 meets, according to All-Athletics.com, the official data Partnerof the Samsung Diamond League.

Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is perhaps the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-mile record while at Coos Bay High School that lasted nearly two decades.  While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-mile/5000-meter championships (4) every time he competed, and never lost a collegiate track race at any distance.  As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 22.  After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records.  His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24.  The Pre Classic began soon after and has been held every year since.


For more info visit PreClassic.com

Brazilian Athletics Tour 2012

May 12, 2012

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The Brazilian athletics tour is a series of six meets with a different combination of events.  These are really well run meetings and great opportunity to face some really good lineups.  I got a preview of some of the athletes who were coming on my connecting flight into Belem.  It was a mix of familiar and new faces.  As we were collecting our luggage and checking in with the meeting organizers a local group was playing music and dancing. A nice welcome to Brazil for us.

Belem, Brazil was the first stop on the tour for me.  This was an early morning meet starting at 830am and over by 12pm.  And I threw at 9am which for me was like throwing at 7am in my time zone.  When I saw the start list the night before I knew it was going to be a great competition.  Several World and Olympic finalist, a very decorated Barrios from Cuba, and others with world leading marks in the field.  I was able to pull out the win with 61.41 meters.

The 2nd stop was in Fortaleza, Brazil and this was a city I hadn’t been to before.  Our hotel was right on the water with a great view and a fabulous pool area.  We were also really close to a local market and able to get fresh coconut waters, yummy.  I was able to get a couple of great training sessions in before the 2nd meet.  The best training day was when a group of us throwers went into the local weight room.  It was really more of a fitness club, everyone in their cut offs working on shoulders and biceps and listening to American hip hop.   We started to get the funny looks when we gathered up some bars and a bunch of plates and took over a fitness room doing power cleans and snatches.

This 2nd meet was a night meet, which in that heat was a great idea.  Our start time was 8pm and again we had the same field of throwers from the 1st meet.  I knew it was going to be another battle in the ring.  I didn’t find my groove in this meet until late in the rounds.  I threw a tad further with 61.44 meters but this time I finished in 3rd.

To finish my part of the series with a Gold and Bronze was great.  Now I have a few training days in front of me and my 1st Diamond League Meeting on May 19th in Shangahi, China.  I’ll keep you posted.

Belem Results

Fortaleza Results 

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San Diego, CA 2012

April 29, 2012

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I was back on the west coast last week for a couple of meets in San Diego.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been out there and as always the UCSD campus looks different every time.  Some new buildings have have gone up and course the famous discus ring looked great.  A brand new hammer cage and an awesome Blue Triton painted in the grass pointing towards long throws.  The Triton meet has a long history big throws and everyone loves to throw there.  Several international athletes were in town this year looking for Olympic qualifying marks.  We had a loaded field and a great women’s discus competition.  I threw a seasons best 63.44 meters for 2nd place.

Looks like I’m heading to Brazil for 2 meets next, stay tuned….

Thanks Will Conwell for the photo!

Australia 2012

February 21, 2012

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My 2012 season is officially underway.  I don’t normally start my season until April. It’s currently summer in Australia and they have a series of meets in February and March because they’re gearing up for there Olympic Trials which are in 2 weeks.  I was privileged to be invited to participate in 2 of the meets, Perth and Sydney Australia.  After 39 hours of travel I arrived in Perth to a beachside hotel reminding me of Maui, HI it was very beautiful.  Athletics Australia were great host and made sure we got to see some sights while on the road.  We were invited to a cricket match and got to sit in a VIP box and have lunch.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot about the rules of cricket, similar to American baseball.

The Perth meet was 1st on my trip.  We had a great crowd and a strong field of women discus throwers.  The 2008 Olympic champion, Stephanie Brown-Trafton of the USA, the 2009 World Champion Dani Samuels of Australia and other top Australian athletes were in attendance.  We had a close competition.

After Perth we took a 5 hour plane ride to Sydney, Australia.  We stayed in the Olympic park that was built for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.  The facilities were all top notch and we were within walking distance to all them which was really convenient and great for training.  I had a great time seeing the sites of Sydney, Bondi Beach, the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge.  The best part of the trip for me was going to a luncheon the day before the meet.  We had lunch at a spot under the Harbor bridge, with a fabulous view of the Harbor.  I was able to sit with 2 famous women athletes that competed  in the 1940-60’s, Marlene Matthews Australian sprinter and Betty Moore English hurdler and long time resident of Australia.  The stories they told me about the struggles of their time as pioneering athletes were very inspiring.

We had another close competition in the Sydney meet as well.  I have linked results for both meets below.  I was excited to have 2 meets over 60 meters in the month of February.    Now I am home and preparing for the upcoming Olympic Trials in June and the olympic Games in August.  My next meets will begin in April.

Perth Results

Sydney Results

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