Blackburn earns Air Force Female Athlete of Year

  • By Staff Report
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11:20pm
  • Sports

Blackburn receives athletic award

Soldotna’s Paige Blackburn added another accolade to her already impressive list of athletic accomplishments. The 2008 SoHi grad was recently named the 2016 U.S. Air Force Female Athlete of the Year after her attempt to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero last summer.

Blackburn competed in the discus throw at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, in July after qualifying with a career-best throw of 200 feet, 8 inches, which eclipsed the Olympic standard of 61 meters. Her throw measured 61.16 meters.

However, at the Trials, Blackburn’s farthest heave went 172 feet, 11 inches, not enough to advance her to the finals.

Blackburn’s journey to the Olympic Trials last summer began with her involvement in the Air Force World Class Athlete Program, which helped put her on the right track for over a year. With the program giving her the resources needed to make a serious attempt at the Olympics, Blackburn was able to reach U.S. Air Force Academy records in the weight throw and standing long jump, where she was a three-time Academic All-American and 2012 Mountain West Conference Field Athlete of the Year.

The Air Force captain graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2012 to become a civil engineer, and is currently stationed with the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.

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