Special spear sends Borman to Olympics

NORMAN, Okla. — For now Sooner Olympian Brittany Borman, a link to the past and the future was the gateway key to her journey to London in just weeks.

Needing a 61-meter throw to qualify for the "A" Standard, Borman again turned to her special javelin, a javelin that had sent a special someone else to the Olympic games years earlier.

Back in 2000, Lynda Lipson-Blutreich tossed that same javelin to a U.S. Olympic trials first place finish, sending her to the Sydney games.

Flip forward 12 years and her husband and trainer, current OU assistant coach and Team USA track and field coach Brian Blutreich, this time handed that special 2.5 meter instrument--it had sat in the Blutreich's garage for all that time--to another Olympic hopeful, Borman.

She prepared and fired it with her last chance to qualify.

"‘Oh my goodness, please be 61 meters,'" thought her coach as it flew through the air.

It flew. And flew. And continued to fly.

Then it finally pierced the ground.

"I kinda heard the crowd cheer and they went wild," Borman said. "So, I was like it might have been all right. I was hoping it wasn't 60 meters, 99 inches."

Nope. It dropped in at 201 feet, 9 inches just more than a foot-and-a-half above the "A" standard.

"I was just kinda watching the board and when I saw that number come up, I knew I was in," Borman said.

So did her coach. And so did her teammate, shot put star Tia Brooks, who had also just qualified for the Olympics and was sitting with Borman's family preaching that she had to toss it 61 meters to earn her spot.

"Just as we saw her do that, we started to slow clap and me and her family stood up and we did the slow clap and we screamed and it went over the line and we all just screamed and I took off running to go meet her," Brooks said.

The two shared a moment. Just like the moment they shared during Thursday's press conference at the Kerr-McGee Stadium Club.

Tears streamed.

Smiles overshadowed them.

The former UCLA heptathlon athlete turned Sooner javelin thrower had continued the legacy with the historic "nemeth" javelin.

She had seized her time to shine just moments after Brooks took advantage of hers, begging the question of whether Brooks' success alleviated some of the pressure on Borman.

"Yeah, it did. It did," Borman said. "That helped a lot."

Inevitably, some of her anxieties of earning her own spot in the 2012 London games presumably went from that to jubilance for her teammate and a simple hope to join her.

It eased her mind, in a sense, and did, in fact, take some of the pressure off her.

"Actually Tia threw before I did, so after I saw that she made it, I was emotionally drained," Borman said. "I was so happy for her. We were hugging and crying and it was just unbelievable."

After that, she stepped up to the plate. And she made the most of her opportunity sending her across the Atlantic Ocean.

Still, Brooks, fighting back tears Thursday, wouldn't take any credit although she might have broken the ice for her beloved teammate.

"I mean, it was her," Brooks said. "I mean, I don't think it has very much to do with me. I've been telling her all year that she was capable of doing it and she kinda was nervous and I just told her like once I made it, I was like, ‘It's your turn.' You know, she hugged me and I said, ‘It's your turn now.' And so it was her. It wasn't--I don't think it had very much to do with me."

Regardless, the two are both on their way to participate in the world's most prestigious athletic event which takes place just once every four years.

And the two realize the significance of that.

"Yeah, it's always been my dream to go," Borman said. "To be able to go over there and represent your country is a really big deal to me. I feel honored to have made the team and it's a dream come true."

"I mean, you talk about it and you dream about it and for it to actually happen is kinda surreal," Brooks said. "I'm still waiting for everything to set in, but I'm so honored to be able to go over there and represent my country and just be with all the people that I looked up to growing up."

Borman and Brooks will get their opportunity to compete when the 2012 London games begin later this month and continue into August.

As for now, though, Borman has carried on the tradition with "Blu's" famous javelin, the unique one that Mr. Blutreich said will have a role in the upcoming weeks.

"They [Olympic officials] provide their own, but that same javelin type will be there," Blutreich said. "So, I'm sure she'll be using it."

If that's any indication, it could again be a special competition for a Sooner athlete.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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