Thornridge grad Jeneva McCall eighth in shot put at U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials

2012-06-29T21:30:00Z 2013-12-28T19:42:44Z Thornridge grad Jeneva McCall eighth in shot put at U.S. Olympic Track and Field TrialsBy Mike Nieto, (219) 933-3232

Jeneva McCall's dream of making the U.S. Olympic track team came up short again Friday.

The Southern Illinois and Thornridge High School graduate finished eighth in the shot put at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

McCall's best toss Friday was 55 feet, 10 1/2 inches. The top three make the Olympic team. On Thursday, she was fifth and had a toss of 57 feet, 9 1/2 inches.

"I think I was mentally ready but not physically," McCall told The Times. "My lower body, my legs, they were dead, but my upper body was strong. We were just trying to get the lower body in sync with my upper body."

McCall's coach, SIU throws coach John Smith, who was a standout thrower at Portage High School in the 1970s, said McCall just had a rough time Friday.

"It was a long season, but Jeneva is one the best three-event (weight events) in the country," Smith said. "We knew she would have to throw at least 60 today, and that would have been a personal best."

McCall, the daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion Oliver McCall, was a three-time NCAA champ and made All-America 14 times in indoor and outdoor track and field. She was the 2012 NCAA weight throw champ and runner-up in the shot put indoors. Outdoors, she was the NCAA hammer throw champ and placed third in the shot put and 10th in the discus.

She also competed in the Olympic Trials in the hammer throw and discus and finished 10th and 15th, respectively.

"I think I can be very good in all three events, but it will take some time," McCall said. "I have to get everything working and have to keep working at it."

She said she will sign a contract to turn pro and compete for the New York Athletic Club.

Her brother Mika'il, played football for Iowa, but transferred to SIU in the spring.


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