Would you tell us a little bit about your background? How long have you competed in Track & Field, and when did you first start throwing the hammer? What other events have you tried out?
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In high school I was never a thrower. My events were Triple Jump, and occasionally some sprints and relays.
I first started throwing hammer in the spring of my college freshman year. After my coach begged me for 6 months and I died in the Multi-Event at an indoor conference, I decided to give hammer throwing a try. My main events in college were the Hammer Throw, Shot Put, and Triple Jump.
How did you qualify for the Olympics?
I qualified for the Olympics in the Women’s Hammer Throw which is a field event in Track and Field. To qualify you have to make the top three ON THE DAY in your event. You also have to meet the Olympic qualifying standard.
What has been your toughest obstacle in your Road to Rio?
The toughest obstacle I’ve faced on my quest to Rio is losing the American Record. In three months I broke the American Record, placed number one in an important International Hammer Challenge and I lost out on $30,000 of bonuses from sponsors due to an inhaler I was prescribed. Because of these series of events I was publicly shamed and most people in my sport thought I had achieved all of this because of drugs. I was defeated by a three-month period of ineligibility but I eventually overcame the situation and made the team. I know I have a lot more in me. I know I can break the record again in Rio .
What do most people not realize about training/conditioning for hammer throwing?
What most people don’t realize is that Hammer Throwing is a longevity sport. It takes about 10 years to truly master the event. Because hammer throwing is not taught at the high school level, most athletes only have 4 years (college) to know if they have the potential to be world class. And have to decide if they want to continue into adulthood and with that usually comes a lot of turmoil due to lack of funding.
What are your greatest achievements in Track & Field?
I haven’t reached my greatest potential yet. I KNOW that I can be a medalist one day; when I get there, THAT will be my greatest achievement.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that I have not given up on the sport. Most individuals know that track is a “poor man’s sport.” Only sprinters and most jumpers are funded and can make a living off the money generated in this sport. I am proud of myself because I never gave myself the opportunity to quit. I have always worked a job, listened to my coaches, and lived modestly so I could train and make history one day.
Who has been your sports hero?
My sports hero is a Cuban hammer thrower, Yipsi Moreno. She is one of the most decorated female hammer throwers in history and I aspire to stay in the sport for as long as she has.
What do you do when you have free time?
When I have free time I definitely try to drive home and be with my family. My family means the world to me and my success. With out them I would be nothing.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are working and reading. They’re really nothing that I like to do though. 📚 💼
If you could only eat one thing for a month, what would it be?
If I could eat one thing for a month it would definitely be spinach dip, salsa and chips!! That’s my favorite snack and I’ll never get bored of it.
Do you have any recovery routines?
My recovery routine includes swimming, physical therapy, and ice baths. These routines are truly essential and great for recovery. They’re simple and they don’t kill your pockets too much!! LOL
How did you find out about RockTape?
I first used RockTape when Steve Middleton (my athletic trainer), worked on me. Combining this product with my trainers techniques saved my career!!
How do you use tape? How do most T&F athletes use tape?
I use the tape for stability and also mobility. The tape relieves discomfort* and allows me to compete and practice longer. It also allows my body to move more efficiently while I’m throwing, hitting positions and moving the implement with more power. Most Track & Field athletes use tape. All Track & Field athletes use Rock Tape.
What is your training like?
My training is vigorous!!! Currently I am doing two-a-days to get ready for Rio. I lift two times a week, throw 4 times and week and I have one off day. I throw many heavy and light implements.
What do most people not know about you?
I love to take care of my friends and family and I love to go overboard!! If I go to Walmart to buy one thing I usually come out with a cart full of things. My boyfriend usually yells at me for that, but it’s OK!! 😝