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Europe athletes of the week

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 4, 2006

Brandon Simmons

Track and field

Heidelberg

Last week: Performing in damp, blustery conditions at Ansbach on Saturday, Simmons, a senior weight man, set DODDS-Europe seasonal bests in the shot put (45 feet, 11.75 inches) and discus (137-8), to establish himself as the favorite for the European championships May 19-20 in Wiesbaden.

“Cold, wet and wind usually spell disaster for a discus thrower,” his coach, Ronald Smith, wrote in an e-mail Monday. “Brandon made sure of his footing in warm-ups and then threw with all the technique he had. I was impressed he was able to cut through.”

Simmons “said he had trouble feeling his fingers,” Smith wrote. “This made it difficult to hold and release the shot properly. He stuck it out and did a great job.”

Colleen Smith

Track and field

Kaiserslautern

Last week: Smith, a freshman who opened her varsity career by winning last October’s European cross country championship, shrugged off cold and blustery conditions Saturday on her home track to win the 800-, 1,500- and 3,000-meter races, setting two DODDS season-bests in the process.

“For the 1,500, (the weather) was acceptable,” Kaiserslautern coach Marty Kollar wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday, “for the 800 it was snowing, for the 3,000 it was perfect.”

Smith ran season-bests 5:07 and 11:25 in the 1,500 and 3,000, and her time in the snowy 800 was 2:30.17.

If she continues, she’ll be tough to catch at the Europeans in Wiesbaden May 19-20.

“Colleen would like to be competitive at Europeans,” Kollar concluded, “and looks forward to running her events.”

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff


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