ATHLETICS: Olympic champion at Rugby track

Olympic discus champion Stephanie Trafton at Rugby & Northampton AC'July 21 2011
Olympic discus champion Stephanie Trafton at Rugby & Northampton AC'July 21 2011
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American discus gold medallist helps young throwers

Discus throwers enjoyed a coaching session they’ll never forget - from the Olympic champion.

The youngsters were lucky enough to benefit from American Stephanie Trafton’s experience, while she was visiting family in the area.

The 31-year-old, who won gold in Beijing in 2008 with a 64.74m throw, trained at Rugby’s track during her stay and took Thursday evening’s session.

The 6ft 4in champion said: “I have enjoyed training at Rugby and have even seen some other athletes on the european circuit training there as well.

“It seems to be a great draw for athletes who have a base here because of family ties. Gary Herrington invited me to train here during my stay and was very welcoming. I feel like part of his family after joining in a barbecue hosted by wife Sue.

“I was able to train with Matt at No Limits Gym down the road from the club and make sure my strength levels are up to par.

“I plan on visiting again during my stay in Birmingham with the USA squad next year in preparation for the Olympics. It will be great to visit again!”

Stephanie, a volunteer Director of Operations for Sacremento State Track and Field, added: “I enjoy inspiring the young throwers to develop their talents.

“Discus is such a intricate mix of timing and speed and it is so enjoyable to watch it fly to the heavens.”

Rugby & Northampton AC chairman Bryan Acford said: “We were delighted to welcome Steph to train and coach at the club. It was a great inspiration for athletes and coaches and we would like to thank our throws coaches Gary Herrington and Kevin Murch for making the arrangements. We look forward to welcoming Steph again next year when the US Olympic team will be based in Birmingham.”