By Staff Sgt. J. Paul Croxon
Defense Media Activity
5/17/2011 – COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) — Air Force athletes brought home gold during the first day of competition May 17 at the 2011 Warrior Games here.
With a grunt and furrowed brow, retired Senior Airman Jennifer Stone bested her Marine, Navy and Army competitors in the women’s standing shot put with a distance of 31-feet, 7.25-inches. Her throw was more than a foot further that of her closest competitor.
“Getting gold in the shot put just sets the tone for me,” she said. “It’s making me realize that I just need to bring it. This year we’ve added new players and I’ve set the pace. They’re looking at me now.”
Living up to her name, Airman Stone remained stone-faced during competition. However, her adversaries will have to get used to that ferocity as she competes in swimming, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball, a schedule that has her competing every day of the games.
In addition to Airman Stone, three other Airmen competed in field events: Retired Staff Sgt. Timothy Anderson, Retired Senior Airman Matthew Bilancia and Retired Staff Sgt. Michael Rushton. Though the Marines dominated the shot put and discus, the Airmen demonstrated their tenacity, keeping pressure on the other services in sports where inches can mean the difference between first place and fourth place.
Sergeant Anderson experienced that phenomenon when he came to within one inch of brining home bronze in men’s sitting shot put with a distance of 28-feet, 11-inches.
“I just want to do my best and at least meet the standard,” he said prior to his shot put heat. “This is my first time doing this sitting. It should give me more stability being strapped in.”
Sergeant Anderson tested the strength of the sitting shot put restraint system when he launched the shot put with maximum effort launching free from the restraint system holding him to the seat.
“I think I had more in me,” he said later.