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 Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.








(More History)