EUGENE, OREGON - Jayden Ulrich, a 21-year-old from East Alton, has secured a spot on the USA track and field national team for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the discus throw event. Ulrich, a student-athlete at the University of Louisville, qualified after finishing second in the discus throw at the U.S. Olympic team trials last week with a throw of 62.63 meters (205 feet, 5 inches).

Valarie Allman, who captured the Olympic women's discus throw in 2020, won the trials with a throw of 70.73 meters (232 feet). Allman will join Ulrich and Veronica Fraley on the U.S. team for the event in Paris.

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Ulrich said becoming a member of the U.S. Olympic team has been a goal of hers for many years.

“It was definitely a more of an intense atmosphere,” she said of the Trials. "I definitely think it went very well for me. Everyone here wants to make Team USA. I am so proud that I made it.”

Jayden said the key for her this year has been consistency.

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“It has also been so great to be around Valarie Allman,” she said. “She is just a great person.”

Ulrich also competed in the shot put at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where she finished 17th and did not advance. Each U.S. team for the discus and shot put will feature three female athletes at the Olympics.

Reflecting on her journey, Ulrich’s high school coach, Russ Colona, expressed immense pride. "It is just incredible. We have talked about this since she was a sophomore in high school," Colona said. "She is always ahead of schedule."

Ulrich, a 2021 graduate of EAWR High School, had an illustrious high school career with the Oilers, becoming a state champion in both shot put and discus in her senior year. She also clinched the state title in shot put during her sophomore year and finished third in discus the same year.

Now, Jayden sets her vision on the Olympic Games set to begin July 26, 2024, in Paris, France.

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