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Amber Campbell makes U.S. Olympic Team

July 7, 2008

Former Coastal Carolina University All-American and current volunteer assistant coach Amber Campbell finished second in the hammer throw finals at the United States Olympic Trials on July 5 in Eugene, Ore., qualifying her for a spot on the roster at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China.

Campbell achieved her mark of 227-02 (69.24 meters) on her sixth and final throw of the day. She also had a mark of 69.07 meters on her first throw, which would have also held up for the runner-up finish. Jessica Cosby won the final with a throw of 232-00 (70.72 meters), which was an Olympic Trials record. Campbell already achieved the Olympic "A" standard before the trials, which automatically put her in Beijing if she finished in the top three in the hammer throw final.

The qualification round for the women's hammer throw in China will be on Aug. 18 with the finals on Aug. 20.

Campbell will join women's soccer's Emily McColl as Chanticleers heading to Beijing for the Summer Games. McColl will represent New Zealand in women's soccer.

This was sweet redemption for the former Coastal Carolina standout from Indianapolis. Four years ago, Campbell finished third at the U.S. Olympic Trials but was 10 inches short of the Olympic "A" Standard. She had two competitions in the following 48 hours but was unable to reach the mark, and another athlete who had already reached the standard went to Athens. "This is definitely redemption from the last trials, as I have that monkey off my back and don't have to worry about that any more," Campbell said. "I just wanted to get out there and set the mark and let everyone else try to chase it. I did that with my first throw in finishing that round in second. I knew I hit another good one on my last throw, but I also knew just two more had a chance to knock me out of the spot and they didn't. It is just an amazing feeling and I haven't stopped smiling since the competition. It was an awesome experience. We had a great crowd over there. Everybody was really supportive and getting after every throw. Everyone was really energetic for it. Twenty thousand people cheering and going crazy for you was absolutely amazing.

"I was anxious but it was because of a whole different reason," Campbell said. "I knew that with so many girls in there being so talented and ready for huge throws, I knew it was going to be anybody's game and I needed to be on top of mine. It was a big relief to start off nice and just keep building from there. There is definitely no chasing and stuff like that going on this year, so I am definitely blessed to be able to enjoy it now. There is no stress of having to try to track down meets and compete on my own. I am really fortunate to be able to go to Beijing with no worries."