Kara Winger only needed one javelin throw on Friday to get into Saturday’s final round of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.
On Saturday, her first throw of 201 feet, 8 inches at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., was the best of her six attempts and more than good enough to seal a trip to Tokyo for the Olympic Summer Games next month.
The Skyview High School graduate has previously competed at Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
Winger’s first throw in the 100-degree heat was a season’s best and stayed in first place among the final 12 throwers until the fifth round.
Texas A&M grad Maggie Malone set a U.S. Olympic Trials meet record with her fifth-round throw of 208-4 to take the lead.
Winger responded right after Malone’s record with a 200-9 mark to clinch an Olympic berth.
Three of Winger’s throws went beyond 200 feet. Her second throw was 201-2. She also went 186-1 in the third round and 197-3 on her final throw. She intentionally stepped out in round 4.
Winger, 35, and Malone, 27, are the only two in the field to have previously reached the Olympic A standard of 210 feet and only needed to be in the top three to make the Olympic team.
Third-place Avione Allgood-Whetstone, with a personal best of 193-4, will have to wait and see about her Olympics spot.
Winger’s best Olympics placing was 13th at Rio. Malone was 25th at Rio in her first Olympics.
Friday’s qualifying round marked 10 months from knee surgery for Winger. She would have missed the Olympics had they been held in 2020 as scheduled. But the pandemic delayed the Games a year and Winger was able to rehab at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she and her husband Russ currently reside.
A second Clark County native is going to Tokyo as Columbia River High grad and former Clark College athlete Daniel Nehnevaj finished second in the 20K racewalk Saturday morning.
Representing Raleigh Walker, Nehnevaj had a time of 1 hour, 31 minutes, 59 seconds.
Nick Christie of San Diego won the event in 1:30:48.