She is among the top 12 in the world.
Brianne Theisen of Humboldt took on the powerhouses of the globe in the women’s heptathlon event at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London from August 3-4 and ended up finishing in 11th place at the end of two days of competition.
Theisen was in ninth position after the first event, the 100m hurdles, with a time of 13.30, gaining her 1,080 points.
In heat 5, she ran against Jessica Ennis of Great Britain, the favourite to win the event, and fellow Canadian Jessica Zelinka, who finished the hurdles in first and second positions with times of 12.54 and 12.65 respectively – Ennis’ time was a new world record, and Zelinka a personal best.
The women headed into the second event, high jump, an hour later. Theisen finished 11th with a jump of 1.83m, earning her 1,016 points.
In the shotput, the next event of the day, Theisen threw a distance of 12.89 metres, a personal best, earning her 720 points, but dropping her to 14th position overall.
The 200m was the last event of the day, and Theisen found herself running in Heat 5 against Ennis and Zelinka once again.
She finished seventh in her heat with a time of 24.35s, which gained her 947 points, and dropped her to 15th place overall, with a one-day total of 3,763 points.
The next day, bright and early, the women were back on the field for the long jump.
Theisen jumped 6.01 metres in this event, gaining herself 853 points and maintaining her 15th place position.
In the javelin, Theisen threw a distance of 46.47 m, a personal best, moving her up to 14th place overall.
In the final event of the day, the 800 m, Theisen shone, finished first in her heat with a personal best time of 2:09.27, gaining her a final 975 points.
With a total of 6,383 points, that was good enough for an 11th place finish in London.
Ennis claimed the gold with 6,955 points, with Lilli Schwarzkopf of Germany winning the silver, and Tatyana Chernova of Russia the bronze.
Zelinka finished in 7th position with a total of 6,480 points.
A total of 39 women competed in the heptathlon, though only 32 finished all seven events.
The Journal was unable to contact Theisen after her event, but she told The Register-Guard of Oregon, where she attended university, that she was happier with her second day of competition in front of 80,000 people at the Olympic Stadium than she had been with her first.
“It couldn’t have been better... I have a lot to learn but this was a very good experience for me,” she told that newspaper.
Her one regret, she continued was in the long jump, where she jumped more than a foot shy of her personal best. She built up too much speed on the runway after moving her approach up to adjust for a headwind, the Register Guard stated.
“I know halfway down the runway I was way too close,” she stated. “I cut my steps down so much, I couldn’t even land. I was kicking myself for that.”
But finishing third overall in the 800m was a great finale to her Olympics.
“That was the easiest 800 I’ve ever run,” she stated. “With 250 left, I was like, ‘You know, I have a lot left in the tank. I better go.’”
Theisen said she planned to sightsee in London with her family before watching her fiance, Ashton Eaton, compete for a gold in the decathlon.
Though she said she feels like a small fish in a big pond right now, Theisen seems confident she will grow into competitions like this one.
“It’s just a matter of getting used to it and figuring out how these things work with all new competitors, and not many of them speak your language. I have a lot to learn in this pond, so I need to get out there and so dome big international competitions with these girls,” she told the Register-Guard.