GVL Archive
Sam Lockhart

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Sam Lockhart

Bryce Derouin

Grand Valley State University junior Sam Lockhart has had success throughout her collegiate career — including taking home her first Division II National Championship this past March in the weight throw — but her biggest test came when she competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials at the University of Oregon this last week.

Lockhart qualified for the Olympic trials with a 57.11 meter discus toss at the Ashland Summer Series.

“It was actually really exciting,” she said. “It was definitely a learning experience. I didn’t really plan on making it to the trials so I was very thankful that I could make it. I tried to look at it as another meet, but not being there before, I had a lot of different emotions. It was an honor to compete with some of the athletes not just in the U.S., but in the world.”

One of the biggest adjustments for Lockhart was the atmosphere of the Olympic Trials. She noticed how much bigger a stage she was on compared to the typical Division II meets she competed at.

“The biggest thing was probably the crowd,” she said. “That was the biggest crowd I have ever been in. The other thing was that I didn’t know what to expect from the other college women because anything can happen and I never competed against those girls, but the atmosphere was the biggest thing.”

She does have experience in big time Division II meets. Her experiences in the GLIAC Championships and the National Championships helped prepare her for the Olympic Trials.

“I think that it helps a lot because you have a lot of nerves going into the national championship,” Lockhart said. “Point wise, you know you are trying to do the best for your team and you want to show that all the work you put throughout the season and the summer will pay off in this one meet.

“So I think in that way I can look at the trial as another meet, but since it was a little bit bigger than nationals, I had an anxious feeling, excitement and nervousness. I think it helped though, because if I never made it to any nationals and went straight to the trials, it would have been nerve wracking.”

Overall, she said was fortunate to be given to the opportunity to compete on one of the biggest stages, and anxious to use this as a learning experience and is hopeful that this will help her down the road and into next year.

“What I’ll take from this is to enjoy the time competing and always be thankful,” Lockhart said. I’m not saying I’m not these things, but it helps me understand. It brings me back to reality a little bit, not saying I wasn’t humble or anything, but it made me realize how much more work I have to do to get better so I can compete with these girls. Working hard usually pays off and it gives me more motivation for the next year and for training after college. It gave me motivation and I was thankful to represent my hometown and my school. I’ll take the little things I used in this meet for the upcoming year I have.”

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