2008 Soldotna graduate Paige Blackburn took the first step in her quest of reaching the summer Olympics in 2016 with a discus victory at the Florida Relays.
Blackburn, competing unattached, unleashed a throw of 53.59 meters (175 feet, 10 inches) to capture the gold over 13 other competitors last Saturday in Gainsville, Florida. The discus landed nine inches clear of the throw from runner-up Beckie Famurewa of Kentucky. Blackburn managed to hit the winning throw on her sixth and final attempt, which was preceded by two foul attempts.
The meet was the first step of the 2012 Air Force graduate’s 18-month stint in the World Class Athletes Program, which she is using to help her qualify for the summer Olympic games, to be held next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.