Moline runner signs with Nike


Share
Originally Posted Online: Dec. 07, 2012, 9:10 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 07, 2012, 11:42 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Dan Tomlin, dtomlin@qconline.com

Moline can now boast having another professional athlete.

Former Maroon harrier Aisha Praught inked a contract on Thursday with Nike to run professionally for the swoosh.

Praught has been living in Eugene, Ore., since September, training with the Oregon Track Club Elite and training with the likes of British Olympian Jemma Simpson and US Olympic steeplechaser Bridget Franek. Training under the guidance of Coach Mark Rowland, who himself won a bronze in the steeplechase in Seoul, Praught has had to earn her way to the professional contract.

"It's a long process and you never really know where you stand," Praught said. "I raced in Europe because I felt like I had to prove myself, but you just don't know. Things were going to take a long time because it was an Olympic year."

There was a huge gamble for Praught, too. In September, she moved to Oregon without a contract and just had to trust that her agent would get her a deal and things would work out.

Wednesday, they did and in between breakfast and an appointment with her chiropractor, Praught signed on the dotted line.

"The shoe companies have a lot of candidates to choose from," Praught said. "They decide who they want to invest in and you have to be patient.

"They believe that I can perform in the future, and it's one of the best feelings that there are people who believe I can do good things."

All along the way, people have believed. From her parents, Molly and Jerome, to Tauwon and Tony Taylor at Moline High School who nurtured her talent while increasing her love of running.

"They were the foundation to get me where I am," Praught said. "It makes everything that much better when I have the people around me who were there from the get-go."

After failing to make the Olympic Team for London, Praught traveled to Belgium for three races and then Dublin, Ireland for another. This year, the focus will be on the US National Championships with a chance to make the team for the World Championships on the line. The US Nationals will be in Des Moines, and you can guarantee there will be a big Praught cheering section.

















 



Local events heading








  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




(More History)