Kara Patterson Rocks

In case you missed it, Vancouver has an American record-holder.

Kara Patterson broke the mark Friday in winning her third straight national championship in the women’s javelin. And at the age of 24, she appears to have a bright future on the world stage, with her peak still several years away.

Maybe it’s because of her youth, or maybe she’s just a really nice person, but Patterson is always enjoyable to talk to. She has a down-home exuberance that belies her growing stature as a professional athlete.

A couple notes from the story we ran Saturday:

— Patterson’s mark of 218 feet, 9 inches, would have been good for a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

— All six of her throws were better than the second-place mark of 184-9 by Rachel Yurkovich, and Patterson won the event by 34 feet. That’s impressive — 34 feet! That means Patterson beat her closest competition by 18 percent, making her the Usain Bolt of American women’s javelin throwers. That’s meant as a compliment, by the way.

Patterson’s next meet is Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. Then she competes in Vancouver, British Columbia, before heading to Europe for the summer. We’ll be following her progress, and wishing her the best of luck.

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