EUGENE — In the end, the one thing that went right will overshadow all that went wrong Sunday for Kara Patterson.
Patterson, a graduate of Skyview High School, qualified for her second Olympic team by finishing second in the women’s javelin at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field. She will represent the United States at the London Games, which begin July 27, and will add to a resume that also includes two trips to the World Championships.
But the day was far from perfect for the 26-year-old Vancouver native who now trains near San Diego:
• Patterson injured her knee on her fourth throw and passed on her final two attempts.
• And she relinquished the national title that she had held the previous four years. Brittany Borman from the University of Oklahoma unleashed a throw of 201 feet, 9 inches, in the final round, leaving Patterson in second with a mark of 196-2.
“You know, honestly, I’m disappointed today,” said Patterson, the American record-holder in the event (218-0). “I would have liked to have thrown farther, but I am really happy to make the team.”
From the start, Patterson took control of the competition.
She was the first thrower in the rotation for the first three rounds, immediately taking the lead with a throw of 193-10. She improved to 196-2 in the third round, giving her the three best throws in the competition to that point.
In the fourth round, she landed awkwardly, fell, and came up limping.
“My biggest problem is being forward on the throw,” she said. “I came in with a lot of speed and hyperextended my knee a little bit. I felt a lot of pain before I fell.”
After a trainer examined her knee, Patterson passed on her fifth throw.
In the sixth round, after Borman launched her big throw, Patterson was tempted to try and regain the lead. But with her ticket to London already in hand, she decided to pass on her final throw.
“We talked about being ready to respond if somebody hit a big throw,” she said. “But my coach (Ty Sevin) said, ‘No, shut it down.’ “
Borman’s final-round throw not only gave her the title, it gave her the Olympic ‘A’ standard and qualified her for London. She will be joined by Patterson and University of Oregon graduate Rachel Yurkovich, who finished fourth but had previously met the ‘A’ standard.
“I didn’t really know what happened differently,” Borman said. “I prayed before it, and I am still in shock about how far I threw.”
Patterson wasn’t shocked.
“I knew the girls were going to throw far,” she said. “It was one of the best competitions ever.”
Now Patterson’s biggest concern is being 100 percent for the Olympics. She plans to have an MRI performed on her knee.
“It doesn’t feel super serious,” she said. “It’s just a little achey. I didn’t hear a pop.”