Road to NBNI Blogs: Lena Giger, Week 4: Post-Nationals Wrapup

by Lena Giger

Wow, what a meet!  There were some amazing performances at New Balance Nationals Indoor last weekend, and it was incredible to be a part of it!  I believe there were seven national records broken, three of which were by my 2013 World Youth teammates, and numerous meet records were smashed!

While I’m very pleased with my performance, which I’ll talk about later, I was, and still am, in awe of some other performances.  To begin in my own event (the shot put), Raven Saunders smashed the old national record by nearly two feet and threw a stellar 56’7.5”.  Additionally, Ashlie Blake threw a personal best by over a foot and a half (in the upper 53s) and Stamatia Scarvelis threw in the upper 52s.  As far as I know, this was the first American high school meet to ever have four girls over 50 feet.  To be a part of this shot put competition was amazing, and I can’t wait to see how our outdoor season’s progress!

Outside of the shot put, I was fortunate enough to see both the boys’ and girls’ national records in the pole vault get broken!  On Saturday Devin King broke the boys’ record with a vault of 17’10.25” and Desiree Freier broke the girls’ record with 14’2.75”!  I’ve always been amazed by the pole vault and it was incredible to watch them both!  I also saw Dior Hall break the 60m hurdle record and was super excited for her!  There were many awesome performances this last weekend and I’m very thankful that I got to be a part of it all!

As for myself, I did what I went there to do!  My goal was to break through the 50’ barrier, which I accomplished, spot on.  During warm-ups, I was having a lot of difficulty with the slickness of the ring.  On my first two throws, I was slipping and sliding all over the ring, and I couldn’t get any solid footing.  Before my third throw, I was concerned that my second throw of 45’1” wouldn’t make finals, so I changed to a slower pair of shoes in hopes of getting better traction off the back of the ring.  While I was only trying to get a throw that would guarantee me finals, I ended up popping a 50 foot throw!! 

I wish could say it felt good and my technique was better, but honestly it didn’t feel very good at all.  I think the pressure of not making finals caused me to relax and trust my body to do what it has been trained for.  Thankfully it did just that, and I can cross one more goal off of my list! 

I didn’t improve any more in finals, where I had two foot fouls and a final throw of 49’0.5”.  Last weekend was a big confidence booster for myself and I’m looking forward to my upcoming meets!

Speaking of upcoming meets, I still have two more indoor meets this season and then we move outdoors.  This Saturday I will be competing at the Gene Armour Invitational in Champaign, IL and next weekend I’ll be at the Illinois Top Times, which is like our indoor state meet.  I would like to throw over 50’ at Top Times and finish off my final high school indoor season on a positive note.  Following Top Times, I’ll begin my outdoor season at a few local meets.  I’ll also be competing at the Arcadia Invitational in California later this spring and I’m looking forward to competing against Stamatia and Ashlie again!

Lastly, I would like to thank both NSAF and Steve Underwood for these opportunities.  I wouldn’t have been able to compete at the Simplot Games or NBNI without the help of NSAF and I am also very pleased to have been able to write these blogs.  I’ve had a very successful indoor season and am looking forward to hopefully an even better outdoor season!

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