HPU’s Rickert advances to final at U.S. Olympic Trials

EUGENE, Ore. – High Point University track & field All-American Christine Rickert continued to go where no Panther has gone before Thursday, advancing to the javelin final at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Rickert just missed her personal best with a throw of 52.29m (171-6) to finish fourth in her flight and 11th overall in the event. With the solid throw, Rickert advances to the final on Saturday, July 9 (7 p.m.), where a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team is on the line. The top-3 finishers in Saturday’s final will pack their bags for Rio in August.

“As we all know, Chrissy is a very intelligent and hard working person. In elite meets like this one, the mental side is so important,” HPU associate head coach Scott Hall said. “She did a great job with her technique over the last few weeks of training and it showed. I think something really big is brewing. There was a tough head wind/cross wind that she overcame and hit a big mark early to put pressure on the other competitors. Her other throws were strong and the form was good, they just didn’t move like they could have. She has the potential to throw 54 meters and I’m excited to see what she can do Saturday.”

Rickert’s first throw was her best, hitting the 52.29m mark to set the tone as the first thrower in her flight. She then posted solid marks of 49.70m (163-1) and 48.47m (159-0) to wrap up a solid day at historic Hayward Field.

Rickert, an Academic All-American who graduated from HPU in May with a 3.94 GPA, placed ahead of 2016 NCAA First Team All-Americans Nicolle Murphy (Minnesota), Mackenzie Little (Stanford) and Rebekah Wales (LSU).

“It’s such a privilege to throw at Hayward Field,” Rickert said. “There was an incredible crowd here and the environment was indescribable. I accomplished what I knew I could today. My goal was to stay focused on my technique and not on what everyone else was doing out there and I did that. Hopefully I can carry this momentum on to the final on Saturday.”

Tune into NBC on Saturday at 7 p.m. to watch Rickert take on the nation’s best in the javelin final.