NORMAN — Tia Brooks’ throw of 60-feet, 2-inches will take her more than 3,000 miles. The University of Oklahoma junior finished third at Friday’s Olympic Trials shot put finals to qualify for the London Olympics.
It was the highlight in a banner day for Sooner women in throwing events at Eugene, Ore. OU senior Brittany Borman, who won the NCAA javelin championship this year, had a throw of 178-9 to finish fourth in the qualifying round. Former Sooner Amy Backel’s throw of 171-2 put her in ninth place, and both women advanced to Sunday’s finals.
For Brooks, it’s also another major accomplishment in a year filled with track and field achievement. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native swept the NCAA indoor and outdoor shot put titles this year.
“Coming off yesterday’s performance, I was a bit nervous,” Brooks said. “I’m younger and this is my first Olympic Trials. Seeing all the glitz and glamour has made me nervous.”
Brooks earned her spot on the U.S. team with her second throw of the day. Jillian Camarena-Williams won the event with a throw of 62-101⁄2, while Michelle Carter was next at 60-111⁄4.
Carter, who along with Camarena-Williams was a 2008 Olypian, offered some advice to Brooks: “Stay focused, stick to what you know and what works for you. Trust yourself and you’ll do well.”
As just the second Sooner woman to make a track and field team , Brooks is following in the footsteps of two-time Olympic sprinter Laverne Jones-Ferrette, who graduated from OU in 2003 and ran for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Another former Sooner, Ronnie Ash, advanced in the men’s 110-meter hurdles after running second in the preliminary heat at 13.52. He’ll compete in the semifinals today. OU senior Ti’Anca Mock finished 22nd in the women’s long jump qualifier with a leap of 19-11.