NCAA Men’s Shot — Comenentia Pulls Off Rare 1-Day Double

Denzel Comenentia followed up his hammer win shortly thereafter with a shot triumph. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Some 3 hours after his victory in the hammer, Denzel Comenentia sat in 7th in the shot: round 5, two attempts to go.

“I felt like my timing was off on the first two throws,” he said, “and on the fourth one I kind-of missed it. On the fifth one, everything lined up perfectly.”

As the put sailed out beyond the 20m (65-7½) line, the 6-foot-2, 275-pound Comenentia was desperately trying to stay on his feet inside the ring. He did so, arms flying to keep his balance, and the measurement came up, 67-7½ (20.61), a 2-foot improvement, and now he was in 1st, on his way to an historic sweep of the shot and hammer.

“It feels amazing,” the Dutch native said of the pairing. “It came so unexpectedly…”

It was not a PR—that came a month ago in winning the SEC with 68-6 (20.82)—but was another example of his progress over a year ago when his best was 66-8½ (20.33). “I just got bigger, stronger, faster,” he said, “and found a little bit more consistency. I just stepped it up this year.”

Until the Georgia junior took the lead in the fifth stanza, 1st had belonged to last year’s runner-up, Mostafa Hassan of Colorado State, whose second-round 67-¾ (20.44) gave him a precarious lead over a flock of throwers in the 66s. In round 6, Josh Awotunde of South Carolina, who narrowly made the final, improved to 67-6 (20.57), shunting Hassan to 3rd.

Behind them, Adrian Piperi of Texas won the war for frosh supremacy, going a PR-matching 66-11½ on his final throw to pip Arizona’s Jordan Geist by 3 inches and equal the No. 5 U.S. Junior (U20) mark ever.

The depth was unparalleled in meet history as for the first time ever it took a 20-meter put to make the top 8, with the 8th-place mark being the farthest in the meet by more than 2 feet. Best-ever marks in meet history were set for places 5 through 13.

The 22-year-old Comenentia has had some international success in the shot representing his homeland, including silver in the World Juniors 4 years ago. Born in the Netherlands, his parents are émigrés from the Dutch Caribbean territories of Curaçao and Suriname.

How rare is the hammer/shot double? It had previously been done only twice, and on a single day just once before, by Jack Merchant of Cal 96 years ago, on June 17, 1922. (Historical note: Merchant, a member of the ’20 & ’24 Olympic teams, was a graduate of Marshfield High, Steve Prefontaine’s alma mater. In fact, the city itself was called Marshfield until changing its name to Coos Bay in ’44.) The only other such doubler was Cory Martin of Auburn, who did so on consecutive days in ’08.


NCAA MEN’S SHOT RESULTS

(June 06)

1. *Denzel Comenentia’ (Ga) 67-7½ (20.61)

(62-7¼, 65-7, 65-2¾, f, 67-7½, f) (19.08, 19.99, 19.88, f, 20.61, f);

2. Josh Awotunde (SC) 67-6 (20.57)

(62-10½, 64-6½, 64-6¾, 62-9¼, 66-1¾, 67-6) (19.16, 19.67, 19.68, 19.13, 20.16, 20.57);

3. Mostafa Hassan’ (CoSt) 67-¾ (20.44)

(64-4, 67-¾, 64-5, f, 65-10½, f) (19.61, 20.44, 19.63, f, 20.08, f);

4. ***Adrian Piperi (Tx) 66-11½ (20.41) =PR (=WJL =AJL) (x, =5 AJ)

(64-10½, f, f, 63-8¾, 64-4½, 66-11½)

(19.77, f, f, 19.42, 19.62, 20.41);

5. ***Jordan Geist (Az) 66-8 (20.32)

(64-7¾, 66-8, f, f, 62-10, 65-2) (19.70, 20.32, f, f, 19.15, 19.86);

6. *Oghenakpobo Efekoro’ (Va) 66-6½ (20.28)

(f, f, 64-8, 65-7½, 66-6½, f) (f, f, 19.71, 20.00, 20.28, f);

7. Austin Droogsma (FlSt) 66-4½ (20.23)

(64-2¼, 66-4½, 65-1½, f, 64-9¾, 61-11) (19.56, 20.23, 19.85, f, 19.75, 18.87);

8. Nick Demaline (OhSt) 66-2½ (20.18) PR

(65-2¼, 66-2½, 63-11¾, f, 63-9½, 64-10¾) (19.87, 20.18, 19.50, f, 19.44, 19.78);

9. Jared Kern (SnIl) 65-5½ (19.95)

(64-4½, 64-9¾, 63-2¾, 63-1½, 65-5½, f) (19.62, 19.75, 19.27, 19.24, 19.95, f);

10. *Payton Otterdahl (NDSt) 64-4½ (19.62);

11. Grant Cartwright (Mi) 64-4 (19.61) PR;

12. ***Jordan West (Tn) 63-9 (19.43);

13. *Kord Ferguson (Al) 63-7½ (19.39);

14. **Andrew Liskowitz (Mi) 62-11½ (19.19);

15. Nicholas Ponzio (USC) 62-4½ (19.01);

16. Peter Simon’ (Cal) 62-2¼ (18.95);

17. **McKay Johnson (Cal) 62-1 (18.92);

18. *T’Mond Johnson (TxSt) 62-½ (18.91);

19. *Noah Castle (Ky) 62-½ (18.91);

20. Nikolas Huffman (Ky) 60-10 (18.54);

21. *Brett Neelly’ (KsSt) 59-2¼ (18.04);

22. Itamar Levi’ (ArSt) 58-9½ (17.92);

23. *Reno Tuufuli (Ia) 58-8½ (17.89);

… 3f—Cedric Paul (NWnLa).

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 5-at least 13)

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