Photo courtesy of University of Louisville’s Sports Information Office.
She is a breaker of boundaries. Last year, D’Ana McCarty arrived on the Louisville campus as a moderately recruited thrower and during the 2009 season, elevated her own game while at the same time elevating Louisville’s status on the collegiate track and field scene.
Success. A tradition starts with one action. One individual.
McCarty won the women’s track and field program’s first-ever NCAA championship and the schools first NCAA title with her win in the weight throw in the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station.
Last weekend, McCarty won the hammer throw with a toss of 190-04 (58.02m), placed third in the shot put with a throw of 50-05.50 (15.38m), improving her national ranking. The Indianapolis, Ind. native also took third in the discus with a distance of 158-07 (48.35m).
PreRaceJitters’ caught up with D’Ana McCarty and here is what she had to say:
PRJ: You threw 72-05.75 (22.09m) in College Station. How did it feel to win an NCAA title in your first trip to an NCAA meet, whether indoors or outdoors?
DM: It felt great since it was my first time ever making it to indoor nationals or any nationals.
PRJ: Have you had time to absorb the historical nature of your feat, as the women’s track and field program’s first-ever NCAA championship and school’s first women’s NCAA title?
DM: I still don’t think it has sunk in. For me to win the first ever NCAA women’s championship in school history and track and field after only throwing weight for two years is just way over my head. I just stay level headed and only look into the future.
PRJ: Recently, you threw 192-03 (58.61m) in the hammer at the Big East Outdoor Championships and you also threw 49-10 (15.19m) in the shot put, setting personal best marks with each event. What do you account for your progression in the throws.
DM: I just finished with two finals right before we flew down there the day before and I was feeling free and excited. I wanted to win and score points for my team. In doing so I reached two goals for my outdoor season. I threw a season PR in hammer and discus. Shot put came out good and just a little under my goal for the season of 50 feet.
PRJ: After winning the weight NCAA title as a sophomore, what keeps you from complacency? What motivates you to continue improving your skills?
DM: Well what keeps me from being complacent is the fact that I have other goals that I want to reach. I mostly focus on myself and my teammates can attest to that in how when they say a top thrower I will just blank out and be like who threw what? I try not to let other people’s marks scare me since that is their PR and not what they throw at every meet.
PRJ: Last year you finished 21st in the hammer throw at the IAAF Junior World Championships in Poland. What if anything did you learn from that international competition and do you feel that experienced has transferred to this years success?
DM: I just had fun and did what I was trained to do. I guess it transferred over to this year in the sense that I didn’t feel pressure from others or let others scare me.
PRJ: Looking forward to the Outdoor NCAA Championships, what events will you compete in and what marks do you think it will take to win the events at the NCAAs.
DM: So far I don’t know if I’ll make it to the NCAA Outdoor championships, it’ll take about 53 meters in discus and 60 to 61 meters for me to make it in the hammer. I have a meet this weekend and I hope that my practices will help me get there.
PRJ:Have you felt any additional pressure since becoming an NCAA Champion?
DM: No I haven’t since weight is only thrown indoors and hammer is thrown outdoors. I don’t really focus on others like I said earlier.
PRJ:What will you training consist of with remaining weeks left in the collegiate season?
DM: Just the usual practice and lifting. The only thing I’m adding now is a painting job I do to pay for things.
PRJ: How did you originally become interested in competing in the throws?
DM: My Dad was a thrower back in the day and so he kept trying to get me to go out for it and my old freshman basketball coach was the track head coach. With those two working me over I finally gave in and joined the team.
PRJ: Between the hammer, weigh throw, shot put and discus – which is your favorite event and why?
DM: Well my favorite is the weight throw since I won nationals with it and then second is the hammer. I like these events because even when I was a kid I liked to just spin in circles. Ha and they said it would never be useful.
PRJ: Off of the track, what are you studying at Louisville and what are your career goals?
DM: Right now I am in Arts and Sciences as undecided. I’m taking classes that would have me minor in business management and major in communications.
PRJ: What are the top five songs on your iPod?
DM: Many Moons by Janelle Monae, You Found Me by The Fray, Give It All by Rise Against, Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria, and Fences by Paramore.
PRJ: What is your favorite television show and why?
DM: My favorite show is Family Guy and I just find it hilarious.
PRJ: Thank you for taking time for PreRaceJitters.com and good luck with the remainder of your season.
February 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
John Godina, at the age of 36 one of the most decorated throwers in track-and-field history with nine Olympic and World Championships medals to his credit, has announced his retirement.
From the day-to-day challenges of training to the intensity of competition, I will miss the rigors of being an athlete, said Godina, a four-time World Champion and two time Olympic medalist. But I am retiring with pride and a true sense of satisfaction with what I’ve accomplished. I’m happy to have played a large role in the drug-free revolution in my events, and I look forward to continuing a heavy involvement in the sport.
Godina’s 14-year professional career began in 1995 with a gold medal in the shot put at the World Championships just months after winning NCAA titles in both the shot and discus. He would repeat as World Champion outdoors in 1997 and 2001, also winning a World Indoor title in 2001. At the 1996 Olympics, he won a silver medal in the shot put, and at the 2000 Olympics earned a bronze medal.
Also a two-time US discus champion, Godina in 1996 became the first American in 72 years to make the US Olympic team in both the shot and discus, and his six appearances at the World Championships outdoors ties him for the most by an American male.
Twice a Jesse Owens Award winner as the top male track-and-field athlete in the US, Godina was a pioneer in the crusade against the use of performance-enhancing drugs. He plans to continue his volunteer work with the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Godina recently began coaching throwers, including 2007 US runner-up Dan Taylor. Founder of the Whole Fitness gym and kPilates in Mesa, Ariz., he and his wife, Kendra Jordan, will open a second fitness studio, Karve, in nearby Scottsdale next
Godina has also just opened John Godina’s World Throws Center and John Godina’s Center for Track and Field, a 13,000-foot training facility in Mesa for elite athletes in all areas of the sport.