JC Lambert's storied career at Southern Illinois University is slowly coming to and end.
The Harrisburg High School graduate will walk away from the Salukis as the school's all-time record holder in the hammer throw, as well as, holding the mark in the Missouri Valley Conference.
This past year's MVC champion holds seven Valley titles and four All-American Awards.
But before he bags up his hammer throw for his collegiate career, he'll continue to reach for new heights when he travels to Austin, Texas Thursday to compete in the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round Championships.
Lambert is ranked sixth in the nation in the hammer throw and knows that while his time at SIU is winding down, the former Bulldog still has things he would like to accomplish.
He recently sat in with The Daily Register for a Q&A about what's left to accomplish and what's on his to-do list.
Question: How would you define your career at SIU?
JC Lambert: That's a good question. I would say I've gone beyond my expectations when I arrived here, as a walk-on freshman, I thought I might be lucky enough to win a conference title by the time I'm a senior. I was already making quite a bit of noise my freshman year with the hammer throw, shot put and discus and I kept improving. I surprised myself.
Q: Do you feel like there is anything that you need to accomplish that you haven't already?
JCL: The big thing, and its tough to say, but I'd love to win an NCAA title. That's one thing that I've wanted to do since I got here and since I started pushing myself to higher expectations. I got close my senior year and I have a chance to win this year.
I believe everything is setting up for me to have a big throw at the NCAAs. It's just going to come down to a few more weeks of preparation. If I can get top three in the hammer, I would be very, very happy. Winning is my ultimate goal, but I'm also chasing a mark — 70 meters which is roughly 230 feet. It's 10 feet off my personal best and five feet off some of my fouls. It's very possible.
Q: Would the possibility of qualifying for the Olympics be something that would interest you?
JCL: Yeah, I've definitely thought about it. I couldn't compete in the Olympic Trials last year because I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but I want to keep training. The biggest thing for me would by my finical situation. How much can I work? How much can I save?
Page 2 of 2 - That would be the biggest thing. If my progressions stay high and I'm able to throw farther each year, in another three years when the Olympic Trails rolls around there's a definite possibility I can make the team.
It's really hard for a person in the United States to make the team because in order to make the team you have to hit an Olympic A-Standard, which is 79 meters and only a few people have done that. It's a hard mark to hit, but if I hit that and then I make the finals, I'm on the team. We'll have to see what happens in the next three years.
Q: What's something that you bring with you from Harrisburg to SIU.
JCL: Good team spirit. I know a lot of people can associate track and field as an individual sport, but there are a lot of things you can do to help your "team" score points.
In the past 12-15 years, I've been the second highest point scorer on the team for the conference with 120 points here at SIU. Harrisburg is my hometown and where I've grown up, so of course I like to make my family and friends proud.