Vancouver's Kara Patterson made a successful return to competition Thursday, finishing third in women's javelin at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Patterson finished with a top mark of 183 feet, 4 inches, among her six throws. Defending national champion Brittany Borman won the event with a throw of 199-10, while Ariana Ince was second at 185-11.
Patterson, a graduate of Skyview High School and Purdue University, was competing while healthy for the first time since the U.S. Olympic Trials last year in Eugene. She suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament while finishing second in that event, then competed in the London Olympics despite the injury.
Following the Olympics, she underwent surgery that led to a 10-month rehabilitation process culminating with Thursday's competition.
By finishing third at the U.S. Championships, Patterson gave herself a chance to qualify for the World Championships, which begin Aug. 10 in Moscow. She has until July 20 to meet the "A" qualifying standard of 62 meters, or just under 203 feet, 5 inches.
Patterson, who won four U.S. titles from 2008-11, has competed twice in the Olympics and twice in the World Championships.