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Stockton grad was fifth at nationals

Stockton High School can now add the title of “Alma mater of an Olympic hopeful” to its long list of accolades.

Emilyn Dearman, a 2013 graduate of SHS, earned an invitation to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials after finishing in fifth place in the women’s heptathlon at the U.S. Track & Field Outdoor Championships, July 25-28, in Des Moines, Iowa, scoring a career-high 5,945 points in the two-day, seven-event competition.

Dearman, an NCAA Division II All-America at Pittsburg State, said despite setting a personal best, she believed she could have done better.

“I went in the meet expecting to score a little more than 6,000 points,” Dearman told the Republican. “There were a couple of events that didn’t go as planned but overall it was a great experience. I was a few inches off my personal best in the long jump, and I had a terrible javelin. My personal best in the javelin is 44 meters and I threw like 33 meters, so there were a lot of points left [on the table] out there. If I would have hit close to my best, I probably could have come close to 6,100 points.”

In addition to qualifying for the trials, Dearman earned a berth on the U.S. squad for the Thorpe Cup, a U.S.-vs.-Germany team event for decathletes and heptathletes, slated for Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 14-15, in Bernhausen, Germany. The event is named for legendary U.S. athlete Jim Thorpe.

Dearman said she trains about six days a week to stay in shape, with an emphasis on power, speed and endurance.

Asked how she has grown since her Stockton days, Dearman said, “I’ve become a lot more confident. I was really attached to Stockton and had a lot of friends there. I was really involved in sports and in the community, but I was also shy. I guess I grew a lot as a person, with more confidence. I’m a lot more open.

“I definitely can tell my communication has grown. My first two years [in college], I don’t think I really said much to my coach. He would text me at Christmas break, ‘How are you feeling?’ and I’d just say, ‘Good.” That was it, just good. Now it’s much more in-depth conversation and I’ve built relationships a lot easier with people.”

The trials are scheduled for June 19-28, at Eugene, Oregon. If Dearman places in the top three and meets the qualifying standard, she would go to the Olympic Games, July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, in Tokyo, Japan.

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