Posted: January 18, 2000
When the 2000 U. S. Olympic Track and Field Trials come to the California State University, Sacramento this summer, hammer thrower Justin Carvalho won't need directions to the throwing circle. For the last four years, the CSUS student and Ponderosa High School graduate has competed, practiced and coached on the Hornet Stadium track.
Carvalho, who set a Big Sky record for the hammer in 1997 as a member of the CSUS track team, will compete for a spot on the team that will represent the United States in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
In addition to training at least four hours a day for this summer's competition, Carvalho works as a volunteer coach for the "throwers" on the Hornet track team, studies kinesiology and works 25 hours a week at a sporting goods store. Beyond his Olympic aspirations, Carvalho plans to earn a master's degree in strength and conditioning, and pursue a coaching career, preferably at CSUS.
And why did the former three-sport star - football, wrestling and track - turn his focus to the hammer? "I really feel that the hammer chose me," Carvalho says.
Carvalho competed in discus and shot put in junior high and high school but didn't even try the hammer until junior college. "When I first picked up the hammer, I hated it. It was hard," he says. But that hard work paid off in a track scholarship to CSUS where right off the bat, he broke the school record, twice. Pretty soon he had also shattered the Big Sky record and earned All-American honors.
He missed qualifying for the 1996 Olympic Trials by just four feet. So when he learned his hometown had landed the 2000 Trials, Carvalho knew he couldn't pass up the opportunity for home field advantage. "I thought, 'now, I can put on the afterburners on my training,'" he says.
Carvalho is also looking for hometown support for his quest, seeking sponsorship money to allow him to cut back on his work hours and devote more time to his studies and training. He started his fundraising campaign, Team Carvalho, after seeing a news story about a filmmaker who financed a Sundance Film Festival project with small gifts from individuals and corporation.
Carvalho says his coaching plans will be his way to give back to Sacramento. "I plan to put what I've learned back into Sac State," he says. "I want people to know that if they make me better, I can do the same for the athletes here."
More information is available by contacting Carvalho at 366-9377 or the CSUS Public Affairs Office at (916) 278-6156.
For further information send E-Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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