Podominick fifth at Olympic trials
Lakeville graduate comes close to qualifying for London
Lakeville’s Liz Podominick finished fifth in women’s discus at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., last weekend, falling short of the international A-standard mark for the 2012 London Olympics.
Her best throw at the trials was 59.42 meters, short of the 62-meter international standard.
“I had hoped for a different result and it was definitely within my reach,” she said. “I’m not disappointed with how I competed. I went after it and I have no regrets.
“To make it to the trials is an honor. It was probably the most stressful competition I’ve ever been a part of. It was amazing, as simple as that. But I would have been more euphoric if I had different results.”
She was in third place after the preliminary round on a rainy June 22, leaving her excited about the possibilities for the finals on June 24.
“I thought I could pop out 62 meters,” Podominick said. “It felt close. I kept making little adjustments, but I ran out of throws.”
She tossed a personal-best 60.96 meters at the University of Arizona in the Tucson Elite Throwers Classic in May, which qualified her for the trials.
The trials winner and defending Olympic champion, Stephanie Brown Trafton, 32, had a throw of 65.18 meters. The other two women who qualified for the Olympic team are Aretha Thurmond, 35, and Gia Lewis-Smallwood, 33.
Lewis-Smallwood didn’t throw the qualifying standard at the trials – she finished sixth, one place behind Podominick – but did have an Olympic-qualifying throw at an event in Hawaii in May.
Podominick graduated from Lakeville High School in 2003 and she’s younger than the three women who qualified for London.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a new generation of throwers coming up,” Podominick said. “I really do believe I have a chance to be one of the top in the country.”
She plans to take some time off for now.
“I’m exhausted,” she said. “My body needs a little break. It was a huge breakthrough year for me, but there’s more I think I can accomplish.”
In college her best throw was 54 meters. Last year her top toss was 57 meters.
“This year I’m up to 60 and it’s more consistent at that distance,” Podominick said. “I’m improving by an average of 10 feet a year. I’ll take that next year.”
She’s keeping an eye on sponsorship opportunities as well.
“It’s all very new to me,” she said. “Hopefully some people recognize the improvement I’ve made this year and I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I still have some fundraiser money in February (in Lakeville) to hold me over. I can’t say enough how much that helped.”