The wet weather, slippery ring and subsequent fouls in the preliminary round of the Olympic Trials must have felt like deja vu for Stephanie Brown-Trafton. On the same ring a few weeks before at the Prefontaine Classic, SBT “did not respond well” to mother nature’s challenge. Despite learning from the experience, there still was “a lot of fear and trepidation walking into the ring” at the Olympic Trials.
In the pouring rain and chilly air, Stephanie Brown-Trafton found herself slipping and fouling in her first two attempts in the preliminary round of the Women’s Discus at the US Trials. “You just have to know that the ability to overcome is possible” said Brown-Trafton in a phone interview Thursday. Overcome she did, flinging the discus farther than anyone else in her final attempt of the semi finals. In the final round of the event, Brown-Trafton dominated, winning with a throw of 213 feet and 10 inches. She will be joined in London by Aretha Thurmound and Gia Lewis-Smallwood.
Stephanie is no stranger to adversity. Following her gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, she was missing her golden form, finishing a disappointing last place in the final of the 2009 World Championships. Brown-Trafton conceded that she was not used to the media attention and international travel that comes with being a champion and her emotional energy just simply “ran out.” A self-proclaimed “energy conservator,” SBT had to take a step back in order to regain her form and mojo.
Brown-Trafton also made big changes in her diet with the help of a dietician, losing 20 pounds since October. The lean, mean, discus flinging machine certainly found her form and mojo when she set the American record May 4, 2012, making her the favorite going into the trials.
Outside of the ring, SBT is a volunteer Director of Operations with the Sacramento State University Track and Field Program and manages the team’s booster group, The Finish Line Club. The positions provide her with valuable experience in the administrative side of the sport, an area she would like to pursue in the future. SBT says that time management is crucial to keeping the appropriate balance between training, work and family.
Rain or shine, Stephanie Brown-Trafton is ready to take on the world in London. Given rainfall is greatest in London during the month of August, the Running Economist is glad that SBT has proven she is a champion in any weather situation.
Best of luck to America’s Golden Woman, Stephanie Brown-Trafton!