Sun Devil senior Maggie Ewen’s second CR-setting meet of the season, and April, began, believe it or not, with a loss—and ended on a decided high note.
The owner of collegiate hammer throwing’s longest heave since her blockbuster day at Sun Angel 3 weekends ago, Ewen opened at the Desert Heat Classic with a rare collegiate loss, a 2nd-place finish to Brooke Andersen of Northern Arizona.
Lumberjack senior Andersen started off hot with a 236-3 (72.00) cast and kept Ewen in her shadow throughout. The defending NCAA champ reached 239-6 (73.01) in round 4 but Andersen’s effort in that round was longer, 243-5 (74.20).
The throw not only earned Andersen the win but was the No. 2 college mark ever, exceeded only by Ewen’s 244-6 (74.53).
“Brooke Anderson threw outstanding in the hammer today,” Ewen said after the meet was done, “so it’s going to be really fun and a really cool hammer competition at Nationals, so I just have to be ready for that and keep going.”
Keep going in this meet, she did. Ewen began the shot with a foul but spun the ball out to 60‑6¾ (18.46), the exact same distance which she had lofted the ball to win the NCAA Indoor title in March.
Consistent on her next two legal tosses (60‑6½/18.45 and then another 60-6¾), the 23-year-old Ewen kicked it up by more than 3-feet on her last trip to the circle: 63-10¼ (19.46). The throw was 5¼ inches past Raven Saunders’ CR set in ’17.
“I didn’t expect to break it today, but practices have been going well and we’ve been working on a lot of really good things, so my consistency has been there,” Ewen said.
Her mentor, Arizona State throws coach Brian Blutreich, had offered a subdued signal she was ready before the record cast.
“Even Coach Blu, who is not overly positive, has been like, ‘Yeah, there’s a good one, you’re so close,’ ” Ewen said.
Statistical note: although Ewen’s mark currently stands as the Absolute (indoors or out) CR, it’s not the top mark on the all-time collegiate list. That honor goes to the 64‑2¼ (19.56) Raven Saunders of Mississippi used to win the ’17 NCAA Indoor. That mark, however, was made with an indoor shot, and those plastic-shelled implements aren’t acceptable for overall record recognition.