NCAA Men’s Hammer: Blomquist Fixes His Technique

A list-leading throw by Logan Blomquist gave Southeast Missouri its first national champion ever. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN the leading hammer thrower coming into the NCAA, but Logan Blomquist certainly didn’t feel like it. His technique was failing him. “I had a couple of tough practices where I kept dropping my shoulder,” the Southeast Missouri senior explained. “I need to keep my shoulders back to get a good pull in the last two spins.” The 2-time Ohio Valley champ opened at 231-5 (70.54), followed by two fouls. That was good for only 6th going into the finals.

Meanwhile, last year’s 3rd-placer, lefty Kostas Záltos, a Minnesota soph, had moved into the lead in round 3 with a PR 237-10 (72.51). That followed two nice opening-round PRs by Wichita State’s Michael Bryan (234-9/71.56) and East Regional leader Tyler Merkley (235-1/71.67) of Penn State.

“That big throw by Bryan might have psyched me up — if I had known about it,” said Merkley with a grin “but I was really into my own head!”

After the opening rounds, Blomquist kept praying and focusing on his technique. He bumped up to 3rd with 235-1 (71.66) in round 4, then into 2nd with 237-10 (72.51) on his 5th. Then Merkley followed with another PR, taking the lead at 238-6 (72.70).

The favored Blomquist wasn’t finished, however — he popped a year-leading PR 240-8 (73.37) on his final toss. He watched the flight of the ball till it plunked to the ground, shaking his right hand like a gambler who has just thrown a 7 at the craps table and let out a big scream. Still, he had to wait through 5 more throwers before he could celebrate his win.

“I came in thinking that I was able to throw far,” said Blomquist. “I was nervous, knowing it came down to one final throw and that was it. I’ve worked so hard for so long for this moment. It was anybody’s ballgame coming in.”


MEN’S HAMMER RESULTS

(June 08)

1. Logan Blomquist (SEMo) 240-8 (73.37) PR

(231-5, f, 231-4, 235-1, 237-10, 240-8) (70.54, f, 70.51, 71.66, 72.51, 73.37);

2. *Tyler Merkley (PennSt) 238-6 (72.70) PR

(235-1, 231-8, 233-5, 232-3, 238-6, 231-8) (71.67, 70.63, 71.16, 70.79, 72.70, 70.61);

3. **Kostas Záltos’ (Mn-Gre) 237-10 (72.51) PR

(233-9, 231-11, 237-10, 230-8, 230-3, 237-5) (71.25, 70.68, 72.51, 70.31, 70.19, 72.36);

4. *Bobby Colantonio (Al) 236-1 (71.97)

(225-2, 231-8, 233-9, 230-7, 236-1, 234-3) (68.63, 70.63, 71.24, 70.28, 71.97, 71.40);

5. Michael Bryan (Wich) 234-9 (71.56) PR

(234-9, f, f, 226-5, f, 222-0) (71.56, f, f, 69.01, f, 67.68);

6. Alex Talley (Nb) 234-8 (71.52) PR

(228-1, 228-11, 234-8, 229-7, 227-0, 231-7) (69.52, 69.77, 71.52, 69.99, 69.18, 70.58);

7. *Decio Andrade’ (Mia-Por) 232-6 (70.86)

(229-5, f, 229-4, f, 232-6, 232-2) (69.93, f, 69.91, f, 70.86, 70.77);

8. **Trey Knight (USC) 232-0 (70.73)

(f, f, 229-7, 232-0, 213-3, f) (f, f, 69.98, 70.73, 65.01, f);

9. ***Jayden White (Wa) 229-7 (69.99); 10. Jake Norris’ (LSU-GB) 228-6 (69.65); 11. *Bayley Campbell’ (Ok-GB) 225-5 (68.71); 12. Edward Jeans’ (Ok-GB) 223-5 (68.10) PR; 13. **Kade McCall (KsSt) 222-1 (67.71) PR; 14. *Alencar Pereira’ (Ga-Bra) 222-0 (67.66); 15. *James Joycey’ (NC-Aus) 221-2 (67.43); 16. ***Sean Mockler’ (In-Ire) 220-6 (67.20); 17. **Khalil Bedoui’ (VaT-Qat) 219-0 (66.76); 18. Kelly Cook (Pur) 218-8 (66.64); 19. **Kyle Brown (Aub) 218-5 (66.59); 20. **Ivar Moisander’ (Cal-Swe) 215-7 (65.70); 21. ***Anthony Barmes’ (Drake-NZ) 215-1 (65.57); 22. Evan Stork (SacSt) 215-1 (65.56); 23. Robert Watson (Mem) 214-0 (65.24);… 3f—Noah Walker (Pitt). ◻︎

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