Sports

Former South Whidbey thrower swings for 2012 London Olympics

Like so many of her throws, Kimery Hern is going the distance.

Hern, a former Falcon, is headed to Beaverton, Oregon for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The South Whidbey alumna discovered her passion and talent for throwing the hammer in 2004 during her junior year. Since then, she went on to be a scholarship athlete at the Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech.

Since graduating from the Atlanta school in 2009, she moved back to Washington and continued to pursue her dream of competing in the Olympics.

Despite spurning the University of Washington for Georgia Tech, Hern connected with a UW throwing coach for her training. After one meeting with Husky throwing coach Reedus Thurmond, Hern was brought in to help with the UW track and field team and train with him.

Recently, Hern competed at the Georgia Tech Invite. Though the results of her return to her college campus was disappointing at 61 meters, she identified some technique issues with her coach.

“So my coach and I went back to the drawing board and really worked on some technical elements before heading out to Arizona for the Tucson Elite Classic (on) May 17 and 19.”

Hern’s dream took another step toward reality in Tucson. In her first throw, Hern launched the hammer 63.90 meters, about six inches shy of the qualifying distance of 64 meters. The second throw was scratched. Then, Hern passed the qualifying mark of 64 meters in the hammer throw at 65.10 meters (213 feet, 6 inches).

“All-in-all, I’ve accomplished every personal goal I set for myself this season,” Hern said in an email. “The only one left is: To make the final at the Olympic Trials and throw another (personal best).”

The Olympic Trials for the hammer throw begin at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, June 21 in Beaverton at Nike World Headquarters. The women’s final round is scheduled for 1 p.m. and admission is free to watch the trials. Hern encouraged anyone able to make the trip to watch her chase her Olympic dream.

Only the top three finishers qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team. Photos and updates from the trials may be found on the Tracktown USA page at www.facebook.com/tracktown.

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