Rivera Nearly Wins World Youth Shot Title

Sophia Rivera holds the American flag after winning a silver medal in the shot put at the.
Brentwood High School senior Sophia Rivera strikes an Olympic pose at the IAAF World Youth Championships on July 16 in Cali, Colombia.

She also takes 8th in javelin for Team USA

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

Brentwood High School senior Sophia Rivera took second place in the shot put and eighth in the javelin at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Youth Championships on July 16 in Santiago de Cali, Colombia.

Sophia Rivera throws the javelin in Colombia.
Sophia Rivera throws the javelin in Colombia.

She was representing Team USA as a member of the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation’s Project Javelin Gold squad.

Despite the finals of both events starting within five minutes of each other, Rivera chose to do both at the same time. It made her the first athlete ever to compete in two field events simultaneously at an IAAF world championship.

It was an added challenge, as she took her turn at one event then hurried across the infield at the 43,000-seat Estadio Olimpico Pascual Guerrero, changed her shoes and took her turn at the other event. She made six throws in each event.

In the 3-kilogram shot put, Rivera twice stole the lead from Julia Ritter of Germany before Ritter went ahead for good on her third try. The German won with a personal-best put of 18.53 meters, about two feet farther than Rivera’s best and final attempt of 17.93 meters.

Rivera took eighth in the 500-gram javelin throw with 50.85 meters (166 feet 8 inches).

Rivera (back row, far left) sits with Project Javelin team at their training facility in Chula Vista, Calif., before going to Colombia.
Rivera (back row, second from left) sits with her Project Javelin Gold teammates at a training facility in Chula Vista, Calif.

No. 1 in shot put, No. 2 in javelin

Among all U.S. high school students, Rivera has the No. 1 shot put of the year, 53 feet 3.75 inches, and the No. 2 javelin throw, 175-10. She’s ranked 17th in the javelin among all U.S. women. These rankings are according to trackandfieldnews.com.

For a video interview of Rivera after she learned she had qualified for the finals in both the shot put and the javelin throw, click here.

For an article on Rivera and Ritter dueling in the shot put, click here.

Upcoming meets

Rivera returns to Brentwood late on July 21 and leaves on July 23 for the July 24-26 American JavFest in East Stroudsburg, Penn. Next week she will be in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to prepare for the Pan American Junior Championships, to be held July 31 to Aug. 2.

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