Stillwater News Press


July 21, 2012

OSU's Young just short of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics

STILLWATER, Okla. — Having not competed in the high jump in three years, Oklahoma State’s Toni Young made quite the name for herself this past season.

Young, who came to OSU on a basketball scholarship, made the jump to track and field and found herself competing for a spot on the United States Olympic team.

While Young came up short of traveling to London for the start of the Olympics later this week, that fact that she even got the chance — after a three-year hiatus — speaks loads for the senior basketball star.

“It was exciting because only the top 24 people in the U.S. got to compete, so not a lot of people can say that made it that far,” Young said. “The Olympic trials were so exciting. Seeing some of the best high jumpers and best runners around, I was kind of starstruck. It was great.”

Young said the opportunity to get back into jumping came when the OSU track and field coaches approached Young about joining the team.

“We kind of met in the middle. They knew who I was before I knew who they were and had got in contact with me a few times,” the OSU high jumper and basketball player said. “Finally my junior year I went to them and told them I would like to jump.”

But with her scholarship to OSU being for basketball, she had to get the blessing from OSU women’s basketball coach Jim Littell.

“He believed in me this whole time. After a track meet I would get a text from him asking how I did and everything,” Young said. “A lot of coaches wouldn’t let their athletes to play two sports, but he supported me through it the whole time.”

After the successful season she had as a junior, Young said she was a little disappointed that she didn’t try to start jumping her first two years at Oklahoma State.

“I wish I would have done it the previous two years. I would have more training and my jumping would have been a lot better than sitting out three years,” Young said. “But I can’t complain. I qualified top five in college, made All-American. So really can’t complain about jumping one year in college and accomplishing all of that.”

While the senior still has aspirations of playing basketball professionally, she admitted if that dream doesn’t come true, she would be willing to come back to OSU another year and continue competing in the high jump.

“I would mostly likely stay here another year and do more training and compete in more track meets and then possibly go professional with it,” Young said.

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