PAST: Little Flower Academy Angels
PRESENT: Clement Track at Minoru Park
FUTURE: University of Georgia Bulldogs
The day Asianna Covington broke a 42-year-old B.C. high school record in discus, she wasnt thinking too much about distance or dates. To her benefit, she wasnt over-thinking the discus either.
Its not just physical, said the thrower. Personally, I like to be calm and relaxed and treat it just like its practice.
When she rewrote the provincial history books, her surprise was genuine. The throw of 48.20 metres wasnt even a personal best. There was another record that she was aiming for, which was the hammer throw, said her coach Richard Collier. That record was hers to win, he said. Shed repeatedly surpassed it in practice at Richmonds Clement Track where the Little Flower Academy honour role student trains with the Kajaks.
The record is going to fall, said Collier. But what was happening was she was thinking so hard to break it. I was telling her to relax. Then in discus, I guess she took my advice. I knew she could win it.
Covington, 17, already held the Canadian youth record in discus and three-kilogram hammer throw, two accomplishments that suggest her potential, which drew recruiters from roughly 50 North American university track and field programs. She committed to the University of Georgia and will face the high expectations and standards of Don Babbitt, a veteran Olympic throwing coach. Hard work will compliment her natural talent and muscular, six-foot-one frame.
Its going to take lots of dedication and perseverance and the right attitude, said Covington, who holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship but has already worn the Maple Leaf at international events like the World Junior Championships in Barcelona and the Commonwealth Youth Games on the Isle of Man where she carried the flag. Covington, whose father Grover is a CFL Hall of Fame defensive end and her brother Christian a defensive tackle at Rice University, said shed be honoured to attend the Olympics for any country but is loyal to Canada.
And, as a Christian, she admires a Japanese hammer thrower who brings a calm spirituality to the sport. When Im competing, I ask God to help me and Ill thank him for that drive I have. Making the most of her athleticism is an act of devotion, she said.
Alone in the circle before a throw, Covington clears her mind. I can just rely on myself, she said. Its not just physical. Its all in your head.
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