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Eric Peterson, Published June 22 2013

Amanda Smock still has a chance to reach World Championships

Fargo

The chase for Moscow remains alive for Amanda Smock.

The former North Dakota State track star still has her sights set on the World Championships – which are in August – after finishing third in the women’s triple jump last Thursday at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“I feel like I’m in a good spot,” Smock said. “If I can get on the runway a couple more times, I will be in a good position.”

Smock has about a month to chase the World Championships “B” standard, which is 46 feet, 7¼ inches. If she’s able to reach that before July 20, there is still a chance she could represent the United States at the World Championships, which start Aug. 10 in Moscow.

That is if the two athletes that placed higher than Smock at the USA Championships don’t also reach the “B” mark.

“Having some time left to get the mark is definitely a positive,” Smock said.

Smock was the two-time defending U.S. women’s champion in the triple jump heading into last Thursday’s competition at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Smock’s top jump there was 45-2¼, good for third place. Andrea Geubelle, from the University of Kansas, took first in the event with a jump of 46-0½.

“The loss was really hard. You pour everything into it,” Smock said. “I was kind of on top and people were gunning for me. … That’s the funny thing about coming in third place. It makes me want to fight for even more.”

Smock still has a chance to fight for worlds since Geubelle and Toni Smith, who placed second, have yet to reach the “B” standard during the current qualifying period.

The U.S. team will take only one “B” mark to the worlds. That’s why Smock needs to hit the “B” mark and at the same time hope Geubelle and Smith don’t reach that standard.

“I really don’t want them to get it so I guess I am pretty selfish,” Smock said with a laugh. “The two girls that I lost to, I couldn’t have picked any two better girls to lose to because they’re just hard workers.”

Smock could also reach the World Championships by reaching the “A” standard before the deadline, but that would take a monster performance.

“It’s pretty tough,” she said.

Smock didn’t feel she was at her best at the USA Championships last Thursday. She strained her hamstring during a competition in May, and has been trying to get her edge back since.

She thinks she can regain that sharpness in the upcoming weeks by competing.

“The triple jump is such a rhythmic event and you can’t mimic that in any other way but in the flow of competition,” she said.

Smock is scheduled to compete five times in the next month, trying to reach the “B” standard. Her next competition is scheduled for July 5 in San Diego. She is then slated to head to Europe for four meets after that.

“I feel like I’m on the cusp right now like I’m coming around and I’m close,” Smock said.

Smock, 30, represented the United States at the 2012 Olympics in London. She has yet to decide if she will attempt to make a push for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

“I haven’t committed to training through that yet,” Smock said. “For sure another year of training I will do, and I’m just kind of taking it year by year. If everything is going well, I think I will stick in there for another shot at an Olympic games.”


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com