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Surprising spike: UVU’s Kelsi Oldroyd turns from softball to throwing a javelin

Surprising spike: UVU’s Kelsi Oldroyd turns from softball to throwing a javelin


OREM — Throwing the javelin wasn’t one thing Kelsi Oldroyd thought she’d ever do, but final month she certified for the Olympic trials, surprising nobody.

Oldroyd, a 20-year-old junior at Utah Valley College, grew up in Cedar Metropolis taking part in basketball, soccer and softball together with her older sisters. She totally supposed to proceed in these endeavors till her junior 12 months in highschool when she was requested to strive monitor and discipline.

Cedar Excessive College coach Dan Jewkes stated there was simply one thing completely different about Oldroyd from the get-go.

“Kelsi ended up operating monitor as a referral by means of her center college P.E. instructor,” Jewkes recalled. “It was apparent from the very first second we noticed her that if we may get her to compete in a meet or two, she was going to school for this. Her first meet was extraordinary — she wasn’t even throwing javelin at this level, she was simply doing the lengthy bounce and ended up profitable the meet.

“I bear in mind watching her do a backflip proper subsequent to the lengthy bounce pit, and I used to be like, ‘Nicely, that is a distinct kind of athlete proper there.'”

That first season did not final lengthy as a result of it was 2020, which was the 12 months faculties have been shut down throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with a shortened first season, with only one bounce below her belt, Oldroyd jumped far sufficient to be seen by the top coach at Utah Valley College, who supplied her a scholarship.

Oldroyd took that newfound success and confidence into her senior 12 months, including sprinting and throwing to her arsenal of occasions.

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Utah Valley College junior Kelsi Oldroyd, 20, just lately certified for the Olympic trials within the javelin. (Photograph: Clint Burgi)

Jewkes defined that Oldroyd’s athleticism was a coach’s dream as a result of she might be positioned in several occasions to attain factors for the group. He expressed appreciation for her willingness to strive new issues.

“We wanted to get her to do different issues … to get extra factors as a group, and Kelsi may do the excessive bounce, lengthy bounce, 100-meter, 200-meter, shot put and javelin exceptionally nicely,” he stated.

Throughout her senior 12 months, Oldroyd posted marks among the many greatest within the state, together with a 18:00.5 within the lengthy bounce, and a 142:11 within the javelin, profitable the celebrated BYU monitor meet outright. And whereas the marks within the lengthy bounce initially caught the attention of school coaches — it was her javelin throw that solidified their pleasure.

Utah Valley javelin coach Jill Williams, who can be a former American record-holder and two-time Olympian within the shot put, talked about when she first heard of Oldroyd, following that meet at BYU.

“Considered one of my first years teaching at UVU, I used to be speaking to our sprints coach in the future and he is like, ‘Hey, this lady that I simply recruited for the lengthy bounce simply threw over 140 toes within the javelin!’ I used to be like, ‘What?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, it was like her first time!'” Williams recalled. “Kelsi got here in as a sprinter and a jumper, however has actually excelled within the javelin.”

The remaining actually is simply historical past within the making as a result of, within the almost three years of competing in school, Oldroyd has proven what her coaches say is basically simply how a lot potential she actually has. And that is why none of them have been stunned when the younger athlete certified for the Olympic trials.

“I have been round athletes for a very long time now and,once I discovered that Kelsi certified, I wasn’t stunned as a result of that is precisely what I anticipated her to do,” Jewkes stated.

The qualifying normal for the javelin is 54 meters, which is 177 toes, and Oldroyd threw 54.34 meters on the Mount Sac Relays in Walnut, California, besting the qualifier by 3 inches. This mark leads the Western Athletic Convention, touchdown her ninth within the West and tenth, nationally. Her school coach stated the sky actually is the restrict for the budding monitor athlete.

“She’s simply a kind of pure athletes who has the energy, energy and explosiveness, and is simply very easy to work with and may make adjustments actually rapidly,” Williams stated. “She threw 56 meters at a nonqualifying meet, so we knew that there was probability she was going to make it and … she hit the mark.”

Her coaches might not have been stunned, however Oldroyd says she’s nonetheless in disbelief.


I bear in mind watching her do a backflip proper subsequent to the lengthy bounce pit, and I used to be like, ‘Nicely, that is a distinct kind of athlete proper there.’

–Dan Jewkes


“It was undoubtedly loads of unbelief — like disbelief,” Oldroyd informed KSL.com. “I needed to persuade myself that it was actual for the primary couple of hours after discovering out. I, after all, known as my dad and mom proper after I came upon to allow them to know, and my dad was ecstatic — he couldn’t consider it. He needed to inform everybody. He was so proud. It made me so joyful.

“I simply sort of needed to step again and take a breather as a result of I used to be similar to, ‘Oh, my goodness! How did we get right here? I used to be solely taking part in softball simply a few years in the past and had by no means touched a javelin.'”

Nevertheless Oldroyd bought the place she is as we speak, she stated she is simply having fun with the place she’s at and is grateful for the many individuals who’ve helped her alongside the best way.

The Olympic trials can be held on June 28 in Eugene, Oregon. The highest 12 from the qualifying spherical will advance to the ultimate on June 30.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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