Stanford Grad Jillian Camarena Qualifies For The U.S. Olympic Team In The Shot Put

July 5, 2008

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    Eugene, Ore.- It was big day for a pair of former Stanford throwers, highlighted by Jillian Camarena who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team in the shot put. Camarena becomes the third Stanford grad to make the team, joining Erica McLain in the triple jump and Ian Dobson in the 5,000 meters.

    Camarena finished third with a throw of 59-5 ½ to earn the trip to Beijing. The 2004 Stanford grad will be competing in her first Olympic Games.

    'I always try to stay relaxed and I had a decent first throw,' said Camarena. 'I thought to myself 'This is going to go well,' but I kept not throwing farther and I started to get nervous. Luckily my first throw held up and I made the team. Today didn't feel as good as qualifying but making the team is so amazing after all I've been through with my surgeries and the setbacks. Almost every day I didn't think I could do this, but my family and support system really pulled me through. The next three weeks are all about training and getting repetitions.'

    Also competing on Saturday was Sarah Veress in the hammer throw. Veress finished third with a throw 225-01, but will not go to Beijing because she does not have the Olympic `A' Standard.

    'I figured I might as well try,' said Veress. 'It is a huge testament to these girls that they were able to finish so high and get the A standard. I knew the rules going in and if I could finish in the top three and get the A standard I would be able to go. I got half of it so I am happy.'

    'It is not really that mixed. I have wanted to make the Olympic team ever since I can remember. I did my best throw ever today and it's close enough. Maybe I will get another chance in four years.'

    Sunday will be the final day of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Stanford will be represented in the 1,500 meters when Gabe Jennings competes in the men's race and Sara Hall competes in the women's race. Also competing will be Michael Robertson in the men's discus.

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