Olympic hopeful proud of local roots

All eyes will be on Ashtin Zamzow-Mahler in the javelin throw, her best of the seven heptathlon events. (Photo via TTFCA)

A global goal for one area native wouldn’t have been possible without local support.

Ashtin Zamzow-Mahler, one of the country’s top heptathlon competitors, will be taking on the Olympic Trials this weekend in Eugene, Oregon. If successful at the trials, she will represent the United States in the upcoming Tokyo games.

The granddaughter of Three Rivers residents Arlen and Angie Zamzow, Zamzow-Mahler said she “loved” the place her family was from. At a recent practice session, she wished thanks to the entire Live Oak County community, particularly the residents of Three Rivers and the Ray Point community area.

The love and respect is mutual from the county’s end. On Aug. 25, 2019, a barbecue benefit was held at the Ray Point Community Center, with $10 a plate lunches going into the training coffers of Zamzow-Mahler.

Money raised at the benefit helped keep up Zamzow-Mahler’s spirits through the COVID-19 pandemic and several injuries, with the Goliad High School and Texas Longhorn legend finally earning a shot in the trials in May. At the APU Last Chance Twilight meet in Azuza, California, she came through with a personal best score of 6,291 through the seven events.

Over the past few weeks, Zamzow-Mahler and husband Wolf Mahler have taken the trip to Eugene in their RV, hoping to keep calm in front of a prestigious opportunity.

“A lot of people talk it up,” she said. “I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to know. I’m just going to out and have fun and do my best anyway. The extra pressure adds a lot more stress that I don’t want on my shoulders ... I’m thinking it’s just another meet, that if I just do the same thing I did (in May), I will be going to the Olympics. It’s going in calm, cool, collected is the thing.”

The 2021 Olympic Trials will be broadcast on NBC from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday and from 6-7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

•tleffler@mysoutex.com•

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