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Aubrey Baxter competes in shot put at the 2008 BHSU Frostbite Invitational

Aubrey Baxter, Black Hills State University junior psychology major from Redfield, competes in the shot put at the BHSU Frostbite Invitational in April 2008. Baxter has qualified to compete in the shot put at the Olympic Trials next week in Eugene, Ore.

Aubrey Baxter, Black Hills State University junior from Redfield, has qualified for the Olympic Trials in the shot put with a put of 54-00.50.

Baxter, a psychology major, is the first BHSU athlete to reach this Olympic  milestone.

Baxter will leave for Eugene, Ore., Saturday and will compete Thursday, July 3.  Athletes from across the country will be competing at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials from June 27 through July 6 at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. The country's most prestigious pre-Olympic event, the Olympic Trials is where the roster for Team USA will be selected for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

An exceptional scholar-athlete, Baxter earned Academic All-Scholar honors in 2007. She is a 12-time NAIA All-American and a 10-time Dakota Athletic Conference champion. She holds five school records (indoor shot put and weight throw; and outdoor shot put, discus and hammer), four conference records (indoor shot put and weight throw and outdoor discus and shot put), four South Dakota Collegiate records (indoor shot put and weight throw and outdoor shot put and hammer), and two NAIA national records (weight throw and hammer). Baxter is also second on the all-time South Dakota collegiate list in the discus.

This year Baxter helped lead the Yellow Jackets to conference championships in indoor and outdoor track and field as well as a fifth and sixth team finish at the indoor and outdoor national championships respectively.

Scott Walkinshaw, BHSU Track and Field coach, praises Baxter for her dedication and vision in reaching this goal.

“This has been a dream of Aubrey’s and she’s worked very hard to achieve this milestone. She’s a very talented and hardworking athlete. This is a great springboard for her final year at BHSU and I see a great future for her,” Walkinshaw says.

The U.S. may enter a maximum of three athletes per event/per gender into the Olympic Games. Baxter is one of two current NAIA athletes competing in the track and field Olympic trials. Annie Hess, a discus thrower from Concordia University, is also competing at the trials.