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EUGENE, Ore. -- You got big hands, Angela Washington told her daughter, Whitney Ashley. Hold this thing.The thing was a discus. The year was 2006. Washington knew nothing about track and field, but the coach at John W. North High School in Riverside, California, needed an extra parent to help keep the kids busy. Ashley, then a junior, liked the shot put and basketball. But the team had no one to throw the discus at meets, so Washington forced Ashley to pick it up. For her first few seasons, Ashley didnt even spin when she threw it.We learned it together, Washington said Saturday, after Ashley, 27, won the discus at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials with a toss of 204 feet, 2 inches, earning a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in Rio.Holding her daughters medal in her hands for the first time, Washington dissolved into tears, overwhelmed by the past 10 years of struggle and doubt.Ashley focused on the shot put through junior college, then became serious about the discus at San Diego State. After winning the NCAA title in discus in 2012, Ashley graduated and was invited to train with legendary throwing coach Art Venegas. She strained her groin before the 2013 World Championships and finished dead last. In 2014, she added about 20 pounds to gain strength, but felt slow, got injured again and finished fifth at the U.S. championships. The following year, Ashley made the national team, but finished ninth at the world championships.I just didnt see a future in it, Ashley said Saturday. I thought I would go to grad school and work toward becoming an athletic director.But it all came together by this years trials. With Ashleys long arms (shes about 5-foot-9, short for her sport) and speed across the ring helping her consistently beat all U.S. competition, she won trials by more than 6 feet.She sacrificed. She never gave up when it got hard, Washington said, crying. She stepped back a little bit and she dug in. My babys not a quitter.The night before the final at Hayward Field, Ashley couldnt sleep. She tried listening to music or watching television, but her mind kept replaying all her past meets, good and bad. She ate breakfast, then promptly threw it back up.Its a grueling process, it really is. Because four years comes down to two days, Ashley said.Now, she has another two-day challenge in Rio. Her goal is to make the final. Ashleys personal best of 212 feet, 7 inches is well behind the worlds top throwers, but if she reaches a personal best at the Olympics, she could get into the top five or maybe even on the medal stand.Its been four years of hard work and dedication, Ashley said. I know its cliché, but blood, sweat and tears. A lot of tears have hit my pillow at night. I was just so uncertain of the future. For it to come together, its so rewarding. It really is. Davante Adams Super Bowl Jersey . Olli Jokinen, Mark Scheifele, and Bryan Little each had a goal and an assist as Winnipeg won 5-2, handing Calgary its record-setting seventh consecutive loss on home ice. Marquez Valdes-Scantling Super Bowl Jersey . -- The Bishops Gaiters are showing they belong among the countrys top varsity football teams. http://www.packersonlineteamstore.com/p ... ersey.html .R. Smith realized how easily basketball can be taken from him, and he wasnt going to take his place in the NBA for granted anymore. Clay Matthews Super Bowl Jersey .S. hockey team after paying his dues as an NHL general manager for more than three decades and giving up a lot of his free time to help USA Hockey. Rashan Gary Super Bowl Jersey .C. -- Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said after all of these years in the NBA hes still amazed at some of the things LeBron James does. NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders will see an old friend Sunday night, when Matt Martin makes his first visit to Barclays Center as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. As glad as the Islanders will be to see Martin, theyd be even happier if their old offense returns, too.The Islanders will look to snap out of a season-long goal-scoring funk when they host the Maple Leafs in the opener of a five-game homestand. New York (3-5-0) last played Thursday, when it fell 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Toronto (2-3-3) will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set after losing to the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Saturday night.All eyes, at least early on Sunday night, will be on Martin, who spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career with the Islanders before signing with the Maple Leafs as a free agent in July. Martin was wildly popular with Islanders fans and teammates for his feisty on-ice demeanor as well as his locker room leadership and off-ice involvement with the community.The Matt Martin Foundation raises funds for a variety of causes, including children with cystic fibrosis. Martins girlfriend, Sydney Esiason, has a brother with cystic fibrosis.Im sure itll be emotional for me, Martin told Newsday on Saturday. I matured as a player and a person on the Island. Itll always be special for me. Im trying to win a game, but as soon as its over, Ill be rooting for those guys.The Islanders surely feel the same way -- especially about the trying to win a game part. New York, which has lost two straight, has been tied in the third period in all five of its losses.The major problem for the Islanders has been a struggling forward corps. Defensemen have accounted for eight of the teams 22 goals. Center John Tavares (four goals) is the lone forward with more than two goals, and left winger Brock Nelson and right winger Ryaan Strome (two goals each) are the only other ones with more than a single tally.ddddddddddddLeft winger Andrew Ladd, who was expected to become New Yorks No. 2 threat upon signing a seven-year deal in July, has yet to score a goal and was actually played on the fourth line last Wednesday against the Canadiens.Were just not getting offense from our forwards right now, Islanders head coach Jack Capuano told Newsday following Thursdays loss. Weve got to find a way to score goals if this team wants to win games. End of story.The Maple Leafs enter in a bit of an offensive funk themselves. Toronto, which was held to fewer than two goals for the first time this season on Saturday, has scored seven goals in its last three games after racking up 18 in the first five.The good thing about this game is that maybe tonight you feel sorry for yourself, but then youre right back at it (Sunday), Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said. Weve got a big game against the Islanders that weve got to win. Weve got another chance to redeem ourselves, so thats a good feeling.Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said goalie Jhonas Enroth will make his second start of the season Sunday. Enroth will likely face Islanders no. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak, who started Thursdays loss.Enroth is 2-4-0 in six games against the Islanders. He was a member of the Los Angeles Kings the last time he opposed New York on Feb. 11, when Enroth took the defeat after stopping 25 of 29 shots in the Kings 5-2 loss at Barclays Center.Halak is 8-3-3 in 15 games against the Maple Leafs. He earned the win the last time he opposed Toronto on Feb. 12, 2015, when Halak stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced in the Islanders 3-2 victory at Nassau Coliseum. ' ' '