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Athlete places 2nd, loses Olympic bid

‘A Standard’ complicates Roger’s Olympic dreams

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

Texas A&M University athlete Natosha Rogers is proof that every second counts. At the Olympic trials this year, she placed second in her 10,000-meters event, but lost her spot on the Olympic team by a devastating 14 seconds.

To make the Olympic team, athletes must meet a set time referred to as the “A Standard.” This standard can be met at competitions other than the Olympic trials, meaning the more races an athlete runs, the more chances they get. The race for the A Standard began May 1, 2011 and ended at the trials.

Rogers, senior agricultural communications and journalism major, had been training to compete in the 5,000 meters, and had only competed in the 10,000 meter three times before the Olympic trials. This put her at a disadvantage to seasoned professionals who had been training to meet the A standard all year.

“The pros already had the time before the race,” Rogers said.

Texas A&M assistant track coach Wendel McRaven said they didn’t enter the year thinking they needed to chase the A Standard.

 “Last year, I was nowhere near where I’m at now,” Rogers said. “You usually have to think a year in advance about this kind of stuff.”

Due to an injury, she started her season later than most. When she sat down with McRaven, her goals were to finish top five or six in the Olympic trials.

A season of diligent and consistent training put Rogers at a level of success that won her second place at the trials.  
“She keeps surprising me with how much she continues to improve,” McRaven said.

Rogers said competing on the Texas A&M track team pushed her to work harder. She said her coaches believed in her, and helped her believe in herself.

“Our team is a very successful team,” Rogers said. “It makes you want to be a part of it.”

Laura Asimakis, Class of 2011, joined Rogers at the Olympic trials. She said Rogers has been improving every single race, and she knew Rogers would be a competitor for a spot on the Olympic team.

“If she would have had one more [chance], she definitely would have gone,” Asimakis said.

Rogers said she was disappointed but thankful for getting as far as she did. She said she considers herself lucky to have had the opportunity to compete at the Olympic trials.

For now, Rogers said she is going to focus on graduating and competing for Texas A&M. Goals are already set for world championships.

“A year from now, hopefully she’s getting ready to go to the world championships in Moscow,” McRaven said. Fourteen seconds may have held Rogers back from a trip to London, but her second place finish will likely be a springboard to a successful career as a runner. Rogers said if she stays healthy and able, she is going to try for the Olympic team again in 2016.

“It’s about giving it everything you have,” Rogers said.  
 

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