USATF Jr. Nationals journal: 'I was there to compete for the biggest meet of my life'

Coastal Carolina thrower Jason Jensen talks about his experience at USATF Junior Nationals in Eugene, Ore. Jensen attended Carolina Forest High School.

Photo by Tim Fulton of
Submitted by Jason Jensen
This past week in Eugene was amazing. My experiences while at nationals definitely topped my expectations. When I had qualified for junior nationals at the beginning of the season, it was very exciting for me but also so far away it was hard to grasp the reality of it. After a very productive and long season, the regular season finally came to an end and that is when the hard work began for nationals. It wasn’t until I had to wake up everyday to practice, while everyone else was having fun, that I realized it had finally come. 
When the time had finally arrived to head to Oregon, I was very excited about throwing, but had no idea of what to expect from Oregon and a national meet. I thought that Oregon would just be a nomans land and nationals might as well be just another meet, but I was very wrong. I came to find out what a track town really is and what true fans are. Oregon’s track, as well as its surroundings, was amazing and beautiful. 
I could not have asked for more with the outstanding weather, scenery, facilities and hospitality I received from Oregon and the people there. Not only was being in Eugene itself an experience, but also the track meet alone was like an entire different place. I didn’t even feel like an athlete competing, but more like a bystander. Seeing all the Olympic and professional athletes and tons of hard-core track fans was awesome.
After the shock of track town U.S.A. had finally settled down inside me, it hit me that I was there to compete for the biggest meet of my life. The time had finally come to check in and head out to the throwing field.  The facilities were amazing at Eugene and the hammer circle was by far the best I’ve been in yet. A lot of fans came out to support the hammer, which was a rare thing, but very much appreciated.
The competition started off pretty good. After my first three throws I was ranked second with one flight to go but I was not too happy with my performance. My farthest throw in the first three rounds was just below 60 meters and that was not what I was shooting for. Me as well as my teammate, Mark Mann, made it into finals, which made it a lot more fun. We both had a great throws in finals and I threw my best throw in the fifth round. 
I was happy with the 61.91 but I have thrown farther in practice so I wanted more. My last throw I really went for it and right at the end pulled it and hit the cage. Although it wasn’t what I was hoping for I know I left it all on the circle and was happy with my performance. I finished sixth overall with a throw of 61.91 meters. 
Overall this meet, as well as Oregon itself, was a fantastic experience and I was very happy with my finish. I just want to thank my coaches and teammates for all of there help, as well as my family and friends for all of their support.