Over the past weekend, Army and Marine veterans Jacques Swafford and Rodney Roscoe competed in the 2014 National Track & Field Championships in San Mateo, CA in both shot put and discus events. Just the week before, both athletes met the qualifying standards at the Endeavor Games held in Oklahoma City. This marked the first time that either athlete had qualified for the National Championships.
With competition on Friday and Saturday, both athletes arrived in San Mateo on Thursday for registration and equipment check-in. The first event was shot put on Friday afternoon. The competition would be tough as both Jacques and Rodney, classified as F55’s, would be competing against the USA’s number one shot put thrower, Scott Winkler. Jacques began the shot put competition with 6 great throws, his furthest measuring out to be 8.34 meters. This would become a personal best for Jacques in shot put. Rodney was next with his furthest throw coming out to be 6.84m. These distances landed Jacques a silver medal followed by Rodney receiving the bronze medal.
The following day, competition for the discus began at 3:00pm. As the only two athletes competing in the F55 classes, both Jacques and Rodney would be leaving Nationals with 2 medals. Rodney began the competition with his longest throw of 18.41m, discus being his preferred throwing event over shot put. Jacques’ best throw of the day came in at 15.78m. As a result, Rodney earned a gold medal in the shot put while Jacques followed with a silver medal.
All in all, it was a fantastic opportunity for both Jacques and Rodney to compete at the National level. Both athletes are now focused on returning next year and improving their skills in both shot put and discus.