Sunday, June 24, 2018

Des Moines - Day 3 - It's All About DeAnna!

2018 US National T+F Championships
Saturday, June 23

copyright 2018, Mark Cullen/, all rights reserved

On a busy day at the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Nationals, the women’s hammer throw took center stage.

DeAnna Price spun an American record 78.12/256-3 on her fifth throw. This vaulted her to the #4 position on the all-time performers list worldwide, and to the top of the yearly world performance list as well.

Price dominated the event from the start, though it may not have seemed so at the end of her qualifying round. Her first throw 73.81/242-2 would have won the entire competition, but her next two were fouls, and she acknowledged afterwards that she was having trouble finding her rhythm in her opening flight.

“Today I was having trouble feeling connected as usual,” she said, “but finally on that one throw I was feeling connected… I knew it was a good throw… I was immediately overjoyed.”

“Things have been connecting better,” she said of her season overall, and she credited her coach and fiancĂ©, Southern Illinois’ JC Lambert, for holding her to a higher standard.

“He’s been doing a fantastic job, and he doesn’t hold any punches. He says, ‘You’re going to do this and you’re going to do this right.’”

What she has been doing better this year is “just connecting with the ball, making sure every motion is in unison, being able to put that ball out in the correct form, and capitalizing in meet situations.”

Final goal achieved.

For the statistically inclined, Price, as noted, is #4 on the all-time performers list. She is #30 on the performance list, a list dominated by Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk. The Polish world record holder has the top 14 throws of all-time and 24 of the top 30.

Price has entered rarified air indeed.

It’s been quite a season for US women’s hammer, as Price and Gwen Berry have traded the American record four times.

Said an emotional Price, "I know that as long as I’m connected it will keep going farther and farther.”

Watch out, world!

Photo credit: USATF
A note about today’s coverage: I was privileged to be assigned to cover the women’s hammer for Track and Field News. I learned something: an American record takes time! Joyous time indeed, but time nonetheless. I saw one other event the entire day, and so I’ll let our friends at USATF provide their terrific summary:

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