Arizona track's top thrower to redshirt for spring season
Junior thrower Julie Labonte has had her sights set on the 2012 summer Olympics since before she became a Wildcat.
Labonte told the coaches that it was in everyone’s best interest if she was granted a redshirt season in order to better prepare for the Olympics and stay on track with her education while being able to stay at the UA for one more season.
“It was definitely the best decision for me right now and the coaches support that,” Labonte said.
Head coach Fred Harvey broke the news to the rest of the team last week. He is confident the team will be able to take on the extra load that Labonte will not be able to carry this season.
“The challenge to the rest of the team is that we can’t sit and cry about this thing,” Harvey said. “What are the rest of you going to do to step up and make sure that we get it done this season?”
As a Wildcat, Labonte has become a key component of the team. The hardest part of not competing this season, she says, is being able to travel, support and help her teammates.
“After my performance in the indoor NCAAs where I placed third, I was a little disappointed,” Labonte said. “But now I have to focus on this summer.”
She continues to train regularly and will participate in a few select meets to remain competitive. The road leads to the Canadian Nationals this summer where Labonte will need to place in the top three nationally in order to represent Canada in London this summer.