America's Best Female Discus Thrower Training in Maryland
by Louis Foudos
It's not too often when one gets to talk to an Olympic champion, and it certainly is rare when one is right in your back yard. Just last Sunday, 2008 Olympic discus champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton was at Marriots Ridge high school in Howard County, Maryland simply to visit.
Track is absolutely unique in this aspect. There is no other sport where a professional athlete just appears to watch a few high school kids practice. And how many professional athletes can one just walk up to and talk?
Born, raised, and currently training in California, America's greatest discus thrower had no connection to Maryland, until now (She does volunteer at Camp Sunshine, which has locations across the country).
Quite an unusual story, leading up to the Olympics in London this year, Brown-Trafton had qualified for the discus (in unfavorable, Eugene conditions). While USATF would pay her way to go to London, USATF would not pay for her coach or personal trainer to join her.
While she is the athlete, Brown-Trafton acknowledged how important her support staff is, especially in this high stakes arena. Brown-Trafton appealed to her fan base for sponsorship, and the Sipe family here in Maryland stepped up.
Colin, who throws for Urbana, and Delia, who is still in middle school, were initially inspired by Brown-Trafton. She even has the young Sipes thinking about the 2016 Olympic Trials. Dan Sipe, their father, said he saw Brown-Trafton?s appeal and answered the request.
His main question is: How can America?s best discus thrower of all time not get the support she needs, especially in an Olympic year?
Very grateful for the support, Brown-Trafton said she needed to come out and meet her fans. Since this is her off-season, she and the Sipes arranged for her to come out to Maryland for a few days. She stayed with the Sipes, attended the Sipe's throwing lessons (presented by a certain Nick Agoris) and held a clinic at Urbana high school before getting back on the plane to resume her training and prepare for another 4 year cycle.
Stephanie Brown-Trafton is a great ambassador and advocate for track and field and we wish her the best in the years to come.