Editor’s note: A brief about Quintunya Chapman preparing for the Olympic trials ran in the June 22 edition of the Coastal Courier. Because of her training schedule, Chapman was unable to respond to questions until after press time. These are her thoughts on preparing for the trials.
The U.S. Olympic trials take place Friday in Eugene, Oregon, and former Bradwell Institute and Georgia track star Quintunya Chapman said she is looking forward to the experience.
Chapman primarily competed in running events during her high school career and first year of college. But the UGA coaching staff saw her potential in multi-event categories, catapulting her career in the heptathlon.
She has excelled in the event ever since.
On June 18, Chapman took first place in the women’s heptathlon at the fifth Pan American Combined Events cup in Ottawa.
She had a personal best in the shot put, equaled her best in the javelin and ran her fastest 800-meter run to date.
With the Olympic trials ahead, Chapman said she knows what she needs to focus on.
“My high jump definitely needs some improvement,” she said, adding that she is looking to become more consistent in all the events.
Chapman didn’t compete much this past season as she prepared to graduate in May with a degree in health promotion. With diploma in hand and the 2016 Summer Olympics within sight, her gold medal-worthy performance at the Pan-Am games fueled her desire to train harder.
“I’m still training at UGA with my collegiate coach and teammates,” she said. “It feels unrealistic. It literally feels like an out-of-mind and out-of-body circumstance because of how fast time has been moving and all that has happened within that speedy timeframe. I have definitely gone above and beyond the expectations that I had for myself.”
She said she will not stop until she’s left everything on the track.
“I just keeping praying for guidance to pursue the right path that is set for me and just keep moving until I have used up everything I have,” she said. “I’m truly enjoying the experience.”
Another former BI athlete, Tynita Butts, qualified for the Olympic trials in the women’s high jump. Butts briefly attended Bradwell before moving to finish her high school career at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. She competed at East Carolina State and currently lives in Arizona.
Her qualifying high jump was 1.89 meters, and in April she hit a personal best of 1.93 meters in the Bermuda Invitational Permit Meet.