RMU athlete hopes next stop is Summer Olympics

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Chris Carper leaves the Robert Morris track and field program as one of the most decorated Colonials in any sport. His career in NCAA competition ended last week, and the javelin thrower has turned his sights toward competing on national and international levels.

“I’m still going to train and at least give [the] Olympic trials a shot here, in two years,” Carper said. “I’m going to keep doing it while I’m healthy.”

Carper missed his first opportunity to compete at an elite, post-collegiate meet, falling about 5 feet short of the qualifying standard for the USA Track and Field outdoor championships, which start June 29. He had hoped to receive an at-large bid for his 239-foot, 9-inch throw at the NCAA East Preliminaries, but was not accepted.

The next major competitions he will train for are the 2015 USATF outdoor championships and the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles in February 2016.

Carper has some work to do in order to reach the Olympic Trials automatic qualifying standard of 252-71⁄2, but Robert Morris assistant track coach Nash Oven believes that Carper can succeed with two years of elite coaching and training.

“If the next person that coaches him works on a couple of small, little things, I think he can put himself on a national stage, on an international stage,” Oven said.

In his final collegiate competition June 14 at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, Carper was named a first-team All-American — a first for Robert Morris track — after finishing fourth with a throw of 233-6.

“He went in with a good game plan, had some really nice warm-up throws in the morning, then came out on the first one and went after it,” Oven said.

“It’s great to see him end up on the podium. Being there last year definitely gave him a good advantage of knowing what he needed to do to advance himself, to get those extra three throws and remain on the podium throughout the day.”

Alex Nieves: anieves@post-gazette.com and Twitter @alexdnieves5.

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