|Petranoff, Smith conclude Olympic trial run|
|Written by Tawni Ricketts, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 17:04|
Three of four Redbirds finish in top 10
With high hopes of making it to the 2012 Olympics in London, four Redbirds competed in the Olympic trials over the past two weeks in Eugene, Ore.
However, the Redbird track and field athletes fell just short of their dreams as three Redbirds finished in the top 10 at the trials.
While javelin thrower Tim Glover and steeplechase runner Aisha Praught concluded their bouts at the trials last week in sixth and 16th places respectively, throwers Brittany Smith and Leigh Petranoff finished off the trials in 10th and eighth places, respectively.
For Petranoff however, making it to the Olympics meant more than just accomplishing a goal — it meant a family legacy.
“Thirty-two years ago my dad was competing in his first Olympics, so it’s something hard that [I was trying] to live up to and something mentally that [I tried] to prepare for,” Petranoff said. “His whole thing was ‘just don’t think about it,’ and tried to keep my mind off things and keep me busy.”
Leigh Petranoff’s father, Tom Petranoff, is a former Olympian and world record holder in the javelin throw, thus paving the road for his daughter to follow in his footsteps.
“It’s really cool,” Leigh Petranoff said. “[Having been around] all the people that my dad knows and all the athletes even of his time and meeting all of his friends that are Olympians was tremendous. The only downfall [was] not being where I wanted to be throwing-wise and distance-wise.”
Although Petranoff ended the trials short of her Olympic dreams, she left with a personal-best throw of 175-10, which she obtained in the preliminary round, solidifying her spot in the finals.
However, the recent Illinois State graduate was unable to better that mark in the finals, thus securing an eighth-place finish.
“It’s kind of sad,” Petranoff spoke of competing in the red and white ISU uniforms for the last time.
“But it [was nice] to finish off being part of a collegiate team with the people I’ve been around for four years [Glover, Smith, and Praught]. It’s really cool to [have had] fellow teammates there rooting for you and competing too.”
While Petranoff and Praught’s seasons are finished, Glover and Smith will continue theirs, as they were selected to represent the United States at the Under 23 North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships July 6–8 in Mexico. Glover will throw the javelin while Smith will compete in the hammer throw.