EAST STROUDSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, July 17—The annual American JavFest more than lived up to its name, with headliner Maggie Malone breaking her own American Record and fellow Olympian Michael Shuey moving into the top ranks of all-time Americans.
Malone, 27, hit the big one on her first try, the spear arcing to oohs and ahs before punching the turf at 221-1 (67.40). That added nearly 2 feet to the 219-3 (66.82) standard she set at the end of May in Chula Vista.
“It honestly just felt like the easiest throw I’ve ever had,” said Malone. Before the measurement came up, she thought she might have a good one on her hands, repeating, “That’s far, that’s far…”
Someone near her said, “That’s going to be the new American Record.”
“What?! No way!” she responded.
She produced two more solid throws — 204-2 (62.24) and 211-6 (64.48) — before passing the rest.
A week away from her departure to Tokyo, Malone seems to be in a good mindset to take on the world. “I feel good and I’m definitely trusting God for all of this. I have no idea what to expect. I’m going to prepare the best that I can, but at the end of the day, things could change, things could be really hard. Things may not go the way I want them to but I know that I’m going to do everything that I can do to put myself in the best position.”
Shuey Comes Up Big On Men’s Side
Michael Shuey came from behind on a big last throw to take the win on the men’s side. His 281-1 (85.67) moves him to No. 4 in U.S. history and the longest in the last 14 years.
The 27-year-old Penn State alum, now throwing for Velaasa and the NYAC, wasn’t terribly thrilled with his 255-9 (77.44) opener. On his second, he threw 261-0 (79.55).
Then came three fouls, as he explained, “The following throws were all about at that distance, but I wasn’t interested in anything under 80m [262-5], because going into Tokyo, that’s not what’s going to make finals. I was just trying to leave no option, like you either have to throw big or you’re not going to get a mark.”
By the time of the final round, Trials winner Curtis Thompson held the lead at 265-10 (81.04). Then Shuey threw big. “It’s like hitting the perfect drive with a nice driver, you just don’t feel the ball. When you hit a big throw, everything goes so fast, you don’t feel any strain, the jav just kind of jumps off your hand.”
The runner-up at the Trials, Shuey said his throwing hasn’t gone smoothly this year, until now. “The last couple months I’ve been struggling with losing feeling in the technique and that leading to a lot of little nagging injuries. After the Trials we really pieced together what we were trying to focus on, and going into this meet, we were really starting to line things up.”
The result puts him into a much better frame of mind for the Olympic battle ahead. “The qualifying rounds, they’re more emotional and designed to stress you out, so going into that with an 85m [278-10] throw, I feel like I can just relax. What it will take to make the finals is something that isn’t going to be so foreign to me. If I can just execute the way I did before, I can just move through and make it to the final day of competition.”
JT: 1. Maggie Malone (unat) 221-1 (67.10) AR (old AR 219-3/66.82 Malone ’21) (221-1, 204-2, 211-6, p, p, p) (67.40, 62.24, 64.48, p, p, p);
2. Avione Allgood-Whetstone (USAr) 184-4 (56.20).
I–1. Michael Shuey (VelNYAC) 281-1 (85.67) (AL) (4, x A) (255-9, 261-0, f, f, f, 281-1) (77.96, 79.55, f, f, f, 85.67);
2. Curtis Thompson (unat) 265-10 (81.04) (254-1, 252-7, 250-6, 258-6, 265-10, 254-7) (77.44, 76.98, 76.35, 78.79, 81.04, 77.60);
3. Capers Williamson (unat) 264-1 (80.49) (236-0, f, 240-7, 242-2, 249-1, 264-1) (71.93, f, 73.33, 73.82, 75.92, 80.49);
4. Ethan Shalaway (unat) 250-9 (76.42); 5. Samuel Hardin (unat) 242-6 (73.91); 6. Mark Porter (unat) 241-2 (73.51); 7. Justin Carter (unat) 232-7 (70.91); 8. Joe Grula (unat) 227-1 (69.22).
II–1. Roman Mitchell (unat) 229-9 (70.02).