Kinsey pursues Olympic dreams at World competition

PHOTO  VIA ERIKA KINSEYS FACEBOOK PROFILE
Kinsey, a Sweden native, set a personal record of 1.89m in the high jump during the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, last August.

PHOTO VIA ERIKA KINSEY’S FACEBOOK PROFILE Kinsey, a Sweden native, set a personal record of 1.89m in the high jump during the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, last August.

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By MARQUIS JONES
Reporter
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Central Missouri track and field athletes have had a memorable 2015. With the Jennies winning both indoor and outdoor championships earlier this year, former Jennie track and field athlete Erika Kinsey had the opportunity of a lifetime to compete in Beijing for the IAAF World Championships of track and field.

PHOTO VIA ERIKA KINSEY'S FACEBOOK PROFILE Former UCM student-athlete Erika Kinsey broke records and won national championships for the Jennies before competing for a chance at the Olympics.
PHOTO VIA ERIKA KINSEY’S FACEBOOK PROFILE
Former UCM student-athlete Erika Kinsey broke records and won national championships for the Jennies before competing for a chance at the Olympics.

After capturing both the indoor and outdoor NCAA National Championships in the high jump in 2015 and helping the Jennies to their first ever track and field championships, Kinsey competed for Sweden, her native country, for a chance to make Worlds.
“I was so tired from the season here (at UCM),” Kinsey said “So I just wanted to go home, rest and get ready for next season. But then I got the chance to compete for the Swedish team and was really exciting to do that and it went unbelievably (well).”
Unbelievable is right. In June, she jumped a personal-best 1.97m (6’ 5.5”) at the European Athletics Team Championships. That mark helped Kinsey qualify for the World Championships.
“After that jump, I couldn’t believe it because it was unreal,” Kinsey said. “It was like a whole new world, getting invites to Diamond League and I was thinking if I should come back to school. That was my plan before I left for the summer, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to do Diamond League.”
Choosing track first, Kinsey traveled the world, going to places like Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Japan and China. Even though Kinsey had been in-season for nine months so far, she stayed positive and remembered her dream to one day compete in the Olympics.
Before Worlds, Kinsey wanted to be home more than ever to just sit and relax with friends and family who she had not seen in over year.
“I was really happy to see family and friends,” Kinsey said. “But at the same time when you like Warrensburg and everything here, I was just stressed and needed to go back to Sweden. When I was home, I missed the team and training with everyone back in Warrensburg.”
Kinsey wasn’t the only UCM track athlete competing this summer. Senior thrower Heavin Warner and multi event athlete Kurtis Brondyke, assistant coach, both competed in the USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
“It’s amazing that we have such world class athletes competing on the same team,” Warner said.
“It’s inspiring and great to see that even though this is a small town,” Kinsey said. “It has great people and great athletes. It’s great to see people to strive for their dreams and actually get there.”
PHOTO VIA ERIKA KINSEY'S FACEBOOK PROFILE Kinsey, a Sweden native, set a personal record of 1.89m in the high jump during the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, last August.
PHOTO VIA ERIKA KINSEY’S FACEBOOK PROFILE
Kinsey, a Sweden native, set a personal record of 1.89m in the high jump during the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, last August.

Finishing her training in Japan, Kinsey entered the World Championships ranked in the top 10. The IAAF World Championship was hosted in Beijing, China Aug. 22-30. Kinsey competed in the women’s high jump qualification Aug. 27 to earn a spot for the finals.
Competing for her native country, Sweden, Kinsey cleared her best mark of 1.89m (6-2.25) on her first attempt, but she did not qualify for the final round after missing a mark of 1.92m (6.3). If Kinsey cleared that mark, she would have tied for first in her heat and qualified for finals.
“I didn’t do as good as I hoped for and wanted, but it’s been a nine month season,” Kinsey said. “I tried to train but my body didn’t answer, I tried to rest, but my body didn’t answer, so I was hoping for the best. Even though I didn’t do as good, I’m really happy with the whole season. In the U.S., with the two national champions, and to go back to Sweden and finally compete for them and take my old PR, it was fun.”
Kinsey finished No. 13 in the world rankings. Eager to get back home, Kinsey wants to relax and spend some time with her husband, UCM track and field graduate assistant coach, Daniel Kinsey. She also looks forward to having fun on weekends and skating, which she loves.
Head coach Kip Janvrin said he is proud of athletes competing beyond NCAA competitions.
“Anytime an athlete competes beyond the NCAA championships, that’s a great sign because that means they’re a phenomenal athlete,” Janvrin said. “Erika is there, she competed in the world championships, and the things she accomplished this year were way above and beyond Division II.”
Perusing her dream of competing for her Sweden in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Brazil, Kinsey has already qualified in the high jump.
“I already qualified for the standards in the indoor worlds and Olympics, that has made me happy and not stressed,” Kinsey said.
Janvrin said it is great to see Kinsey qualify.
“She has the Olympic A-standard,” said Janvirn. “If, in her case, she is jumping well and improving her fitness, she will compete for Sweden in the Olympics games, which is awesome.”
Not forgetting the start of her season back in Warrensburg, Kinsey returned on Sept. 20 and was welcomed by old and new teammates as she watched both the Mules and Jennies track teams take home the annual athletics karaoke trophies.
“It feels good to be back here,” Kinsey said. “Right now I’m not training. In a few weeks I will be back and joining the team for workouts to start my training. Being around the team will be great because I need someone to train with.”