Our national championship meet starts in 9 days and the atmosphere here at the Training Center is changing. There has been a lot more energy around the track and in the weight room as the athletes enter crunch time. For most of us, our national championship meet (USAs) will be the most important competition of the season. Our performance(s) will decide if we get to represent the United States at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Korea this August and/or the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico this October. To be eligible to make a USA team, an athlete must finish in the top 4 and have achieved at least a B standard in that event. (For more information on selection procedures, click here and for more information on the IAAF standards, click here). This year, USAs will be held in Eugene, Oregon starting on June 23rd and running through June 26th (TV coverage).
My training has been going very well over the past few months and I feel good about how I've been preparing for USAs. I missed about 4 months of training this past fall and winter due to a few surgeries but have managed to bounce back fairly quickly. The training room staff here at the Center has been awesome with planning and instrumenting my rehab programs. My strength numbers came back relatively quickly but my throwing technique took a little longer. About two months ago, things started to click in the discus but it wasn't until 2 weeks ago that I felt the same thing with the shot. Since then, I've been watching a lot of video and focusing on technique and timing. It's been paying off huge so far and I've thrown the discus over 3 meters farther this season than ever before and I'm very close to PRing in the shot as well. I've never made a national team but I'm going into USAs this year with good pre-season marks (A standards in both the shot and the disc), confidence, and high hopes. Thanks to everyone who has helped me to get to this point!
- Russ Winger - shot put, discus