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Rome qualifies for London Olympics
MARYSVILLE — In an intense and emotional week of 2012 Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore., local athlete Jarred Rome made the cut on June 28, with a final discus toss of 207 feet, 10 inches, bumping him up to a second-place finish overall.
“To make my second Olympic team was the greatest feeling ever,” said Rome. “After I hit that throw, I knew I made the team.”
Rome, who was in fourth place after the fifth round, has earned a place on the U.S. Olympic Team headed for London this year. It will be his second time as an Olympian — he was also a member of the 2004 Olympic Team in Athens.
“The first time I made the team, I went from third to first and this time I went from fourth to second,” said Rome. “It was one of the greatest feelings of my career. It was like a whole ton of bricks was lifted off my shoulders.”
The weather during the trials was problematic as constant precipitation left the ground slick. “I had to slow down a lot to keep from slipping,” said Rome. “On my final throw I thought, ‘I’m just going to go for it.’”
Rome leaves with the rest of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team for training camp on July 15. He’ll spend a month training for the August event. “It’s some pretty intense training,” said Rome. “You get a couple of weeks to get rid of the jet lag. It’s a really good environment. The whole U.S. Track and Field team is there.”
Being an Olympian came as a bit of a surprise for the Marysville-Pilchuck graduate.
“I played baseball and football all the way from elementary to high school,” said Rome, who had also done track and field since 10th grade. “I got hurt in my senior year of football and still wanted to get a scholarship so I focused on track and field.”
Rome upped the ante and received a scholarship for Boise State University. He thought he would work on getting his degree and figured he would eventually quit competing after college. But he was so successful at shot put and discus that he just kept going.
“I was a six-time All-American,” said Rome. “I had a really successful collegiate career.” And the success didn’t stop there. One year into post-collegiate competition, Rome placed fifth at the U.S. Nationals.
“I began to train for the 2004 Olympics and won the trials and made the U.S. Olympic Team. It was the greatest day of my life. I had a new dream,” said Rome.
“I never thought I’d make it to the Olympics,” said Rome, of his first time on the team in 2004. “There’s no bigger stage. With 205 countries competing and I’m representing my own — it’s the greatest feeling I’ve had.” That is, until Thursday, June 28, when Rome made it into the top three in the trials.
“It’s the last time I’m going out for the Olympic team,” said Rome. “It feels really nice to get on this team, and now it’s all about getting a medal. I’ve done everything I imagined and more. It would be wonderful to bring myself, my family, Marysville, Washington and my country a medal.”
Rome is set to compete Aug. 6 and 7.