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Powers gets first taste of U.S. Olympic trials

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Featured: Sports, Sports

Kate Powers

Kate Powers competes in the hammer throw at the U.S. Olympic trials June 21 in Eugene, Oregon. PHOTO/USATF

Even though Kate Powers came up a bit short in bids to score points at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and in the Olympic qualifying meet, the experience gave her a clear picture of what she needs to do to compete at the highest level.

“The outcome wasn’t exactly what I wanted,” Powers said. “When you go into a meet, you want to do your best, and I don’t think I was close to doing my best at the Olympic trials.”

The Hopkinton High School graduate and University of Kentucky redshirt freshman faced a challenging turnaround after flying to the West Coast for the NCAA meet and then having to crisscross the country a second time for the Olympic trials this past Friday.

“It was a scramble the last week and a half,” she said. “We peaked really hard for the NCAAs, and then we had to change a lot at the last minute because we had one more meet to do. All the travel, it’s just hard on the body.”

But Powers said she was thrilled to get the chance to go up against the best in the country.

“I am going to be in the mix with these girls and be a lot more competitive,” she said. “I am grateful for the experience and seeing all the pros compete live. I took a lot of notes on how they do what they do, and I am excited to come back next year.”

Powers managed a ninth-place finish in the hammer throw in the NCAA meet with a personal best heave of 215 feet, 7 inches. It was a fitting end to what has been a record-setting season for Powers. She placed multiple times in both the hammer and the discus, and set UK freshman records in the indoor weight throw and the outdoor hammer event.

“The season, as a whole, I was so, so happy with,” Powers said. “To make it to the national meet, I was so thrilled. And then throwing a personal record, making the finals, that was a whole other thing. I was so grateful to be there and I felt so happy with my training leading up to it.”

Although Powers finished just one spot away from scoring points at the NCAA meet, she came away pleased with her performance.

“When you PR at a meet like that, you can’t really ask for much more,” she said. “It would have been nice to score some points, but there was a big gap between me and eighth place.”

In addition to being better prepared for the tight window between the end of the NCAA season and the USA track and field competition, Powers said she has a plan in mind to try to close the gap next season.

“I’ve got to get a whole lot stronger, that’s one of the biggest things, and I have to keep taking reps,” she said. “We need to clean up my technique a bit. It’s the little things now, and it’s going to take time to do those things. A lot of it comes down to reps at this point.”

Powers is scheduled to return to Hopkinton this month after 10 months in Kentucky. She said she planned to take two weeks off before beginning her offseason training routine and will return to campus around mid-August to start getting ready for her sophomore season.

“I am definitely looking forward to being home for a little bit and seeing my family,” Powers said. “A change of scenery is always nice. I’ve been in Kentucky for 10 months, so it will be good for a little change of pace.”

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