McCall’s hopes remain alive in shot put
By Dan Tomlin For Sun-Times Media June 28, 2012 10:40PM
Jeneva McCall competes in the preliminary round Thursday at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials. | Dan Tomlin~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 30, 2012 6:24AM
EUGENE, Ore. — One out of three isn’t bad.
For Jeneva McCall, her London calling still is on hold as the former Thornridge star will be throwing in the shot put finals Friday.
McCall finished the preliminary round at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials in fifth place, with a best throw of 57 feet, 91/2 inches.
For McCall, it was her best result of the Trials. She failed to make the finals in both the hammer throw and discus. While she has been better at the national level in both of those events, she has surged in the shot put, making a name for herself as one of the most quality throwers in the nation.
“It’s all about qualifying for finals, and that’s what I did,” McCall said. “It feels good (to qualify). It shows people that it’s good to throw three events and not just start crying after one event.”
McCall’s warmup included lifting and strength training exercises, including squats — not exactly the kind of warm up you’d expect before the Olympic Trials.
“I lifted today to get the nervous system ready to fire (for finals),” McCall said. “The ball felt heavy today but it should be lighter (Friday).”
There’s a big hill to climb for McCall if she wants to punch her ticket to London. The top three Americans all have thrown the shot more than 60 feet.
Two of the top three only had to put the shot one time Thursday.
Jillian Camarena-Williams and Sarah Stevens-Walker each threw more than 60 feet on their first toss and walked away from the ring. With a light drizzle coming down it was not surprising that they decided not to risk anything else.
For McCall, she knows the challenge.
“My confidence is always high. I’m always looking forward to this kind of competition,” McCall said. “Now I need to go out there, hit the “A” standard and make the team.”
McCall will need to throw a personal best of 60-1/2 to even be considered for the team and will have to finish in the top three.
Marks from the preliminary round do not carry over into Friday’s final.
Competitors will get three throws Friday, with the top eight getting three more.