Former SIU athlete takes 8th in hammer throw at Rio Olympics - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Former SIU athlete takes 8th in hammer throw at Rio Olympics

(Source: Deanna Price) (Source: Deanna Price)
DeAnna's parents supporting her in Rio. (Source: Katelyn Corns/KFVS) DeAnna's parents supporting her in Rio. (Source: Katelyn Corns/KFVS)
(KFVS) -

A number of athletes competing in Rio have previously shown their athletic prowess here in the Heartland.

DeAnna Price, a former Southern Illinois University student of 2016, will compete in the Olympic finals for track and field women's hammer throw on Monday.

Price who just finished with an NCAA Championship now enters her quest for gold.

She qualified for the finals of the women's hammer throw competition, with the farthest throw being 70.79m.

Price posted a video to her Facebook for friends and family to see before her qualifications in Rio.

Price says she and her teammate Amber Campbell are the first women to ever qualify for the finals from the United States in the hammer throw event.

There are also two other former SIU athletes that are competing in Rio this year - Gwen Berry and Bianca Stuart.

Berry did not qualify for the finals in the hammer throw.

Stuart will compete in long jump for the Bahamas.

Price comes from a background of competing in the NCAA and is third woman to compete in the Olympics for the hammer throw.

According to SIU, the women's head coach for Team USA at the 2016 Olympics is SIU alumna and four-time Olympian Connie Price-Smith.

SIU has had 29 former track and field athletes in the Olympics since 1956.

Katelyn Corns has been friends with DeAnna since she was 5 years old. She is holding a large community watch party for the community of Troy, Missouri at the Troy Buchanan High School.

Katelyn  said DeAnna's family is getting ready for the qualifiers.

"They're having a great time in Rio, they actually got to see DeAnna 20 minutes ago, and they're headed to the stadium right now," she said.

KFVS12 was able to talk with DeAnna before she left for Rio about her mental mindset before competitions.

"That's my zone, that's my time, this is where I'm going to take it I'm gonna go and i'm gonna go after what I want. That's kinda my switch right when I get in there I don't only do it for me, I do it for my Saluki family," DeAnna said.

Tori Perry is DeAnna's former teammate, she said whenever there's a big competition coming up, that's all athletes can think about.

"In college it's like every waking moment, every thought, pretty much revolves around your next competition."

Tori said the Olympics is where all of her hard work will pay off.

"I think she can really go for the Gold and she's worked for this she's put in so much time and effort."

On August 15, the women's Hammer Throw finals will be at 8:40 a.m.

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