Groves finishes college career with All-American honors

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kansas State's senior placed seventh despite an injury.

Scott City High School graduate Loren Groves capped a brilliant collegiate track and field career Friday with her fourth All-American award.

Groves, a Kansas State senior, placed seventh in the hammer throw finals at the NCAA outdoor championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The top eight finishers earned All-American honors.

Groves, who competed the entire outdoor season with a torn shoulder labrum that will require surgery, had a top throw of 199 feet, 11 inches.

Stevi Large of Akron won the event, which was interrupted by a lengthy weather delay, with a throw of 223-4.

"I was really excited to make All-American again," Groves said.

Especially considering that she was injured the week before this year's indoor nationals. Despite needing the surgery -- it will be performed Wednesday -- she was determined to delay the procedure in order to finish out her senior season.

"Nothing was going to stop me," she said.

The injury prevented Groves from throwing the way she had been while healthy. That's not to mention the pain she had to endure.

"I've been on anti-inflammatories, but there's not really much they can do until I have the surgery," she said. "It was really frustrating because I knew I could have thrown so much better."

Groves also earned All-American honors for placing fifth in the hammer throw at last year's NCAA outdoor meet and sixth in the indoor weight throw in both 2007 and 2008.

Groves also was a four-time Big 12 Conference champion, winning three weight throw titles and one hammer throw crown.

"My parents say it hasn't hit me yet because I always wanted to do better, but I'm pretty proud," Groves said of her college career.

Groves also has stood out in the classroom. She is a four-time Academic All-Big 12 first-team selection, recently was named Academic All-District first team and graduated in May with a 3.76 GPA in education.

Groves plans on becoming an elementary school teacher but will put that career on hold as she will continue to train in Manhattan, Kan., with an eye on earning a berth in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

"I'm getting licensed [to teach] and I'm going to work part time at an elementary school in Manhattan, but I won't full-time teach until I'm completely done with track," Groves said. "After I rehab, I'm going to keep training. My goal is the Olympics."

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