Kara Winger: Exceptionally Talented American Javelin Thrower Two-time Olympian and American Record Holder Shares Her Inspirational Story of Success
Kara Estelle Winger (nee Patterson) is an American track
and field athlete who competes in the javelin throw. She is the
American record holder in the javelin throw with a distance of 66.67
Kara Winger was born in Seattle, Washington in 1986, the daughter of Bruce and Rona Patterson. She went to Alki Middle School and is a 2004 graduate of Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington. She attended Purdue University and graduated in 2009, majoring in nutrition, fitness and health.
Since Patterson made her first Olympic team in 2008, she has dominated the national javelin scene by winning four national titles. Patterson wavered in 2012 as she finished second at the Olympic Trials, but after competing in London Patterson revealed that she tore her ACL on her fourth throw at the trials. At the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships, she improved Kim Kreiner's American record with her winning toss of 66.67m/218-9. In high school, Patterson was a four-year varsity letter winner in swimming, basketball and track and field, as well as a three-time javelin state champion. Her hobbies include art, reading, camping and movies. Patterson is an active volunteer at the Chula Vista Humane Society. She majored in nutrition, fitness and health as an undergraduate at Purdue.
Kara Patterson grew up in Vancouver, Washington, where she won three state championships in the javelin for Skyview High School. She won the premier national high school track and field competition in becoming the Golden West Champion of 2004, and went to Purdue University. As a Boilermaker, Kara won three Big Ten Championships, four NCAA Mideast Regional titles, and was an NCAA All-American twice.
In 2008, she threw over 60 meters for the first time at the Big Ten Championships, setting a Purdue and Big Ten Meet record of 61.56 meters. From there, she secured a trip to the Beijing Olympic Games by winning the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene. After graduating from Purdue in 2009, Kara won her second straight national title by throwing 63.95 meters and earned a spot on her first World Championships Team in Berlin. A move to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, support from ASICS America, and a new coach before the 2010 season was a recipe for success for Kara, as she threw an American Record of 66.67 meters, won a third straight national title, set a Hayward Field Record of 65.90 meters, finished second overall in the inaugural Diamond League series, and was ranked sixth in the world.
The 2011 season saw Kara win a fourth national title and make her second World Championships Team, competing with her best major championship distance yet in Daegu, South Korea. Kara competed well in the season leading up to 2012's Olympic Trials, throwing over 60 meters multiple times for the first time since 2010 and earning third place in New York's adidas Grand Prix. Despite tearing her left ACL on her fourth throw at the Olympic Trials, she competed in her second Olympic Games in London, and finished higher than she did four years prior. She underwent surgery to reconstruct her ACL in September, and has since moved to the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center to focus on rehabilitation and continue training. Third time will be the charm for her, as she has her sights set on Rio 2016.
Achievements of Kara Winger
- Six-time USATF Outdoor champion - 2008 (58.44m/191-9); 2009 (63.95m/209-10); 2010 (66.67m/218-09); 2011 (59.34m/194-8); 2014 (62.43m/204-10); 2015 (64.94/213-1)
- 2012 Olympic Trials runner-up (59.79m/196-2)
- 2013 USA Outdoor bronze medalist (55.88m/183-4)
- 2009 NCAA Outdoor runner-up (57.96m/190-2)
Awards and Honors
- American record holder (66.67m/218-9)
- Two-time NCAA All-American
- 2008 USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year
- 2008 Big Ten Women's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
- 2008 Big Ten Women's Field Athlete of the Championships
- Two-time First-Team All-Big Ten
- Three-Time Academic All-Big Ten (2006-08)
- 2008 Second-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District
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