Facing her final throw of the U.S. Olympic Trials, Jessica Woodard sat in 13th place and had to leapfrog four throwers to reach the finals.
A tall order. Especially considering that she was facing only the top American shot putters.
Woodard had thrown 55-10 1/2 and 56-3 1/4 but needed to throw at least 58-1 — within seven inches of her PR — to become one of the nine throwers to advance to the finals.
So the former Cherokee star threw 58-2 1/2.
With that final-throw bomb, Woodard leap-frogged Monique Riddick (56-8 3/4), Kearsten Peoples (57-0), Dani Bunch (57-0) and Christina Hillman (58-0 1/2) to reach the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials shot put, scheduled for 9:15 p.m. EST at legendary Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Woodard, who placed third in the shot put at the NCAA Championships for Oklahoma, is one of only two college throwers in the finals. The other is NCAA champ Raven Saunders of Mississippi.
Here are the finalists:
62-6 1/2 … Tia Brooks [Nike]
62-1 1/4 … Jill Camarena-Williams [Nike/NYAC]
60-5 3/4 … Raven Saunders [Mississippi]
59-4 3/4 … Chase Ealey [unattached]
58-9 3/4 … Brittany Smith [Nike]
58-8 3/4 … Felisha Johnson [Nike]
58-7 1/4 … Michelle Carter [Nike/NYAC]
58-4 1/2 … Jeneva Stevens [NYAC]
58-2 1/2 … Jessica Woodard [Oklahoma]