Throwing the javelin has been Roosa Yloenen’s passion for the past 15 years and as she heads into her final competition, the UTEP senior’s goal remains to do the best she can as she prepares for the NCAA Division I Track and Field Meet.
“It’s my second time qualifying for the NCAA Championships and I’m excited for this opportunity,” Yloenen said. “I began this journey when I was 9 years old. I’ve been able to compete in my home country of Finland in major competitions and I’ve had lots of help along the way. Kimmo Kinnunen is a former world champion who believed in me and helped me get to where I am today.”
Yloenen competed in the javelin at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., at Hayward Field in 2021, posting a mark of 50.28 meters (164 feet, 11 inches) and finished 18th. She’ll compete on Thursday at Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field in Austin. Yloenen advanced with a season-best 53.40-meter (175-2) toss at the NCAA West Prelims in Sacramento, Calif.
“I feel good going into the national meet,” she said. “I’m ready to give my best performance to end my career. I have my degree in Economics and I’ll be moving forward with my career after the NCAA meet. I’ll miss throwing the javelin and competing, this sport has given me so much.”
Yloenen will be joined by teammate and fellow javelin thrower Arianne Morais at the national meet. Morais and Yloenen are the first pair of UTEP female javelin throwers to advance to nationals since 1996 when Kirsi Hasu and Terhi Palovuori were named All-American with third and fifth place finishes, respectively.
“For both of us to advance to nationals is amazing. Arianne has pushed me to get better and she deserves to be there in Austin,” Yloenen said.
Added Morais: “Roose is the reason I’m here at UTEP. She’s been a great teammate, a great friend and an inspiration. I hope she finishes her career as an All-American.”
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Felix F. Chavez can be reached at email@example.com; @Fchavezeptimes on Twitter