Hillman to Barcelona to End Throwers' Great Year
EUGENE, Ore. - Iowa State throws coach Grant Wall is a busy man. Cyclone shot putters Danielle Frere, a junior and sophomore Hayli Bozarth competed in the NCAA Championship in early June in Des Moines. On June 17 in Bloomington, Ind., freshman Iowa Stater Christina Hillman won the U.S. Junior (under 20) Championship. Frere and Hillman competed this week in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Now, Hillman will focus on competing in the World Junior (under 20) Championships in mid-July in Barcelona, Spain.
Wow. Wall says some of the success is to be expected as his throwers mature. But compete in the Olympic Trials?
"I entered both Danielle and Tina as they had surpassed the "B" standard," Wall said. "I thought Danielle would get into the meet but not Tina. What a great experience this has been for both of them.
Hillman competed for the Cyclones indoors and then redshirted the outdoor season.
"We competed indoors so Tina could gauge the competition," Wall said. "It was a real eye-opener for her."
At the U.S. Junior meet, all of Hillman's throws were better than any attempt by the rest of the field.
"I thought that she had the best series of her college career," Wall said. "But her trials throws were even better."
Hillman's third throw of the trials was 53-8 ¾, an outdoor personal best. Hillman has had her two best series in her last pair of competitions. Wall says Hillman is truly on an incline.
"Watching her improvement, I am not surprised at all," Wall said. "She had great credentials in high school. She is just a freshman and I'm confident we have just seen a glimpse of what lies ahead."
Now, Hillman and Wall are headed for Barcelona. And as the 2012 draws to a close, Wall can survey his returning group for 2013 which, by all accounts, is upward bound.