The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton won the final big showdown of top American women discus throwers prior to the Olympic Trials, reaching 208 feet, 2 inches on Sunday at USA Track & Field’s Pacific championships at College of San Mateo.
Approximately 500 athletes converged on the CSM campus for the championship event.
The new American record holder defeated current No. 2 American Gia Lewis-Smallwood, who threw 199-3, and former American record holder Suzy Powell-Roos, who reached 198-0 in the competition among six of the current top 10 USA throwers. Summer Pierson placed fourth (189-5) and Jere Summers fifth (186-3).
Brown Trafton plans just one more competition prior to the U.S. Olympic Trials in a month — next week’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., against an international field of probable Olympic Games adversaries.
“My one goal this year is to medal at the Olympics,” said Brown Trafton via press release. “I felt good today. This is a lovely venue and I consider it my home track (for competition).”
Prior to setting an American record of 222-3 with Maui’s friendly winds at the beginning of May, her personal best was 217-2 at CSM in 2009. Powell-Roos, in search of a fourth U.S. Olympic team berth, had set the former U.S. record of 222-0 in 2007 and still has the all-time longest throw by an American, 227-10, in 2002 — a mark not accepted as a record due to a slopping landing area.
In the men’s discus throw, Jason Young set a CSM Stadium record for the second time in two days. The current No. 2 American threw 207-10 to defeat reigning U.S. champion Jarred Rome (194-5), Mike Torie (191-11) and William Irwin (185-2).
In a USATF Olympic Development competition on Saturday, Young threw 205-6 to upset current No. 1 American Russ Winger (200-6) and also finish ahead of Rome.
Left in the wake was the 40-year-old stadium record of 202-10 by former world record holder John Powell. Irwin took the shot put at 60-8 3/4, defeating host College of San Mateo’s Josh Uikilifi (50-10 1/4).
Vashti Thomas spoiled the comeback of Trinity Wilson in the battle for former California state high school champions Sunday.
Thomas, the two-time CIF 100 meter hurdles champion while at San Jose’s Mt. Pleasant High School, ran 13.72 seconds to edge Wilson, the reigning champion for St. Mary’s (Berkeley), who ran 13.74 with a zero wind reading.
Wilson, currently a senior at St. Mary’s, had been sidelined nearly two months with a toe injury and missed all of her school’s championship meets this season. The USA’s top high school track athlete of 2011 was pleased with the start of her second season with USATF competition, however.
“I just have to get my speed back between the hurdles to where it was,” Wilson said. “My start wasn’t as bad as it usually is, and I just started practicing on the track again last Wednesday.”
Thomas, however, did get out well ahead of Wilson, who closed fast at the end. Thomas, who was sixth in the 2010 NCAA Championships for Texas A&M, is now competing for San Francisco’s Academy of Art University and has run a wind-aided 13.02 this year
Wilson’s best time of 13.15, as a junior last year, was an age 16 record and is an Olympic Games “B” qualifying mark. She plans to compete in the June 9 Golden West Invitational national high school meet in Folsom and then the USATF Junior National Championships.
Arkansas grad Nkosinza Balumbu, the former James Logan (Union City) star, won the men’s triple jump at 52-11.
Kim Kreiner, who set an American record in the women’s javelin throw at CSM in 2006, won her specialty at 158-9.
The day started with a women’s world masters record in the 10,000 meters by 70-year-old Marie-Louise Michelsohn, who ran 46 minutes, 38.5 seconds. She bettered the previous age 70-74 world record of 47:09.94 by Rita Rasimus of Finland set last year and the American record of 48:11.29 by June Machala in 2003.