By Ben Ledbetter
Special to Loudoun Prep Sports


GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 21, 2008) – Natalie Baird is between her senior season at Park View High School and her freshman year at William and Mary and this recent grad sees this weekend’s Nike Outdoor Nationals at N.C. A&T State University as another opportunity to excel.

“I’ve got nothing to lose, just go out there and do my best,” Baird said after Friday’s shot put. Baird threw 43 feet, seven and a half inches, which was good enough for eighth place. That mark was near her average, she said.

However, the shot put can be fun.

“It’s just fun to do,” Baird said. “I like it when it comes out of my hand and my fingers snap. When that happens, I’m happy.”

Becky O'Brien of Cumberland, Maine won the shotput with a throw of 52-1 3/4.
Baird will compete in the hammer throw and discus on Saturday.

Baird, who earned seven AA state titles in the discus and shot put and led the Patriots to consecutive state titles, will be competing in the USA Youth Outdoor Track and Field Championships at UNC Charlotte on June 24-29.

Baird can't wait to start classes at William & Mary and join the track and field team.

“I liked everything,” she said about the Williamsburg school. “I liked the school’s academics. I liked coach (Dan) Stimson and the other athletes are really fun to be around.”