Donavon Banks Heads To Canada To Solidify World JV Ranking!

Former Captain Shreve Gator Donavon Banks wrote another chapter to his amazing story earlier this week at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Banks finished third in the men's javelin with a throw of 259 feet, 9 inches.

He qualified for Sunday's finals on Friday and was in fifth place going into the final three throws of the competition. Curtis Thompson won with a 272 feet, 5 inches. It was the second longest throw in U.S. Olympic Trials history and Thompson becomes only the second thrower in history to win two consecutive javelin titles at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

No American javelin thrower has reached the Olympic standard in the event of 85.5 meters (280 feet, 5 inches). However, athletes may compete in the Olympics if they rank in the Top 30. According to a report from McNeese State University, Banks is at No. 19 in the World Rankings. 

The qualifying period ends on June 30th, so it becomes a waiting game for Banks. 

Whether he makes the U.S. Olympic team and travels to Parish for the Summer Olympics or not, Banks has made history.

"I never gave up. Never gave in. Never gave my soul away. Always stayed true. Always believed. Always kept matter what!" 

Donavon  Banks, On U.S. Olympic Trials bronze medal

He became only the third athlete in Northwest Louisiana history to medal at the U.S. Olympic Trials. He joins Fair Park's Hollis Conway and fellow Captain Shreve alum LaMark Carter. Both Conway and Carter went on to compete in the Olympic Games. Banks is hoping to follow suit.

Also, Banks, who was an All-American during his collegiate career at McNeese State University, had the highest Olympic Trials finish in the modern era for the Cowboys Track & Field program. 

Currently, Banks has the finish of any Louisiana-born athlete at the Trials. That could change on Thursday evening when Gabriel Jennings takes the track for the finals of the 3000m Steeple Chase. Jennings, who is the most decorated runner in LHSAA history, won her semifinal heat on Monday evening with a time of 9:23.8. 

Banks was asked what it felt like to stand on the podium and receive the bronze medal after all of the adversity he has faced in his career. 

"I never gave up," Banks responded in a text as he was traveling. "Never gave in. Never gave my soul away. Always stayed true. Always believed. Always kept matter what."

He is still going.

Monday, Banks was headed to a meet in Kelowna, Canada to compete on Friday at 7:15pm in hopes of solidifying his world ranking and thus getting the coveted spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.