NCAA Women’s Heptathlon — Winning One For The Home Team

Javelin-strong Ashtin Zamzow provided the hosts with their only winner on the women’s side. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG for the favorite, Ashtin Zamzow of the Longhorns, to face her moment of truth. In the second of the seven events, fresh from a big PR 13.33 in the hurdles, she missed twice on her opening height (5-5¼/1.66) in the high jump. Tyra Gittens of Texas A&M, her chief rival, was already on her way to a PR 6-1½ (1.87), while Michelle Atherley of Miami, the Indoor pentathlon champ, had opened with the first sub-13 hurdles of her life, 12.97. The pressure was on to stay in the running.

A fifth-year senior who began the year with a PR of 5853, the 22-year-old Zamzow was in her final college meet (“Ending my last season here,” she said, “I just can’t explain it”) so over she went on her third try, and she kept going, equaling her PR by clearing 5-10 (1.78). She also PRed in the 200 by 0.43 at 24.23, yet remained 161 points down to Gittens, who PRed at 23.86 as they ended the day 1–2.

Despite a lifetime-best 19-8¾ (6.01) Zamzow fell 30 more points behind in the long jump, as Gittens got out to 20-8½ (6.31) on her final try. “My long jump… was huge … and that’s what I needed going into the javelin,” Zamzow said, “because Tyra had such a great Day 1 and an amazing long jump again. I kept fighting to be up with her.”

The sixth event, the javelin, is, however, Zamzow’s ace in the hole. She has thrown 173, Gittens 40 feet less. On this day, the differential was some 53ft, Zamzow 162-7 (49.56) to 109-0 (33.22) for Gittens. Zamzow went from a differential of 254 points down to 60 ahead. She closed it out in the 800, a weak event for Gittens, to prevail with a lifetime-best 6222, 173 up on Gittens.

“It was a dream come true,” said Zamzow, who moved to No. 8 on the all-time collegiate list in becoming the first Texas scorer in the event. “Incredible… I’m so thankful to finish my last year on this track.”

To further some linkages, note that Zamzow began her college career at Gittens’ school, arch-rival Texas A&M (transferring from A&M to UT after one season). As had both her parents. And her uncle.

There was plenty of action below the top two, as the next seven finishers had PR scores. Atherley got her first total over 6000, taking 3rd with 6014, while two senior Californians, Hope Bender (UCSB) and Erinn Beattie (UC Davis), battled for 4th. When Bender prevailed in the 800 with 2:10.10, that was the difference. For Beattie, it was the conclusion of a fine two days in which she PRed in the hurdles (13.80), outdoor shot (36-1¼/11.00), 200 (24.93) and javelin (119-3/36.35) to record a 253-point overall PR.


NCAA WOMEN’S HEPTATHLON RESULTS

(June 07–08)

1. Ashtin Zamzow (Tx) 6222 PR (CL) (8, x C; 5, x AmC; 6, 8 NCAA)

(13.33 PR, 5-10/1.78 =PR, 42-6/12.95, 24.23 PR [3711–2], 19-8¾/6.01 PR, 162-7/49.56, 2:21.31 [2511]);

2. **Tyra Gittens’ (TxAM) 6049

(13.49, 6-1½/1.87, 44-2½/13.47, 23.86 [3872–1], 20-8½/6.31, 109-0/33.22, 2:29.99 [2177]);

3. *Michelle Atherley (Mia) 6014 PR

(12.97, 5-6½/1.69, 42-2¼/12.86, 23.99 [3671–3], 19-10¾/6.06w, 105-7/32.18, 2:10.50 [2343]);

4. Hope Bender (UCSB) 5955 PR

(13.48, 5-5¼/1.66, 37-10¾/11.55, 23.63 [3507–=6], 19-9½/6.03, 124-1/37.83, 2:10.10 [2448]);

5. Erinn Beattie (UCD) 5924 PR

(13.80, 6-½/1.84, 36-1¼/11.00, 24.93 [3524–5], 19-11¾/6.09, 119-3/36.35, 2:12.63 [2400]);

6. **Amanda Frøynes’ (Fl) 5891 PR

(14.15, 5-8¾/1.75, 39-10/12.14, 25.66 [3370–14], 19-4¼/5.90, 146-9/44.73, 2:11.42 [2521]);

7. Jordan Gray (KennSt) 5846 PR

(13.83, 5-5¼/1.66, 44-9½/13.65, 25.01 [3466–10], 20-3½/6.18, 130-7/39.81, 2:20.92 [2380]);

8. *Lauren Taubert (KsSt) 5793 PR

(13.72, 5-7¾/1.72, 37-2¼/11.33, 24.15 [3480–9], 18-5¾/5.63w, 123-9/37.73, 2:10.94 [2313]);

9. **Hannah Rusnak (Wa) 5779 PR

(13.51, 5-6½/1.69, 41-10/12.75, 24.85 [3503–8], 19-7½/5.98, 141-¾3.05, 2:28.90 [2276]);

10. **Erin Marsh (Duke) 5707

(13.37, 5-4¼/1.63, 37-4½/11.39, 24.12 [3430–13], 19-8¼/6.00, 125-6/38.26, 2:22.26 [2277]);

11. ***Sterling Lester (Ga) 5694 PR (4, 6 AJ)

(13.23, 5-5¼/1.66, 40-2¼/12.25, 23.52 [3601–4], 18-9¼/5.72, 100-0/30.49, 2:18.61 [2093]);

12. Jestena Mattson (Fres) 5576

(14.13, 5-4¼/1.63, 38-9/11.81, 24.12 [3349–14], 19-6¾/5.96, 114-3/34.82, 2:20.12 [2227]);

13. **Nicola Ader’ (Nv) 5571

(13.61, 5-10/1.78, 38-¼/11.59, 25.72 [3443–12], 19-6/5.94w, 124-0/37.81, 2:31.68 [2128]);

14. Carly Paul (Brown) 5535

(14.43, 5-10/1.78, 35-8½/10.88, 25.17 [3329–16], 18-11¼/5.77, 118-0/35.97, 2:19.10 [2206]);

15. *Emilie Berge’ (SAl) 5493

(14.08, 5-6½/1.69, 34-5½/10.50, 25.87 [3180–20], 19-1¼/5.82, 131-7/40.10, 2:18.13 [2313]);

16. *Asya Reynolds (MiSt) 5487

(14.25, 5-5¼/1.66, 38-2¼/11.64, 25.56 [3222–17], 19-¾/5.81, 126-7/38.58, 2:19.27 [2265]);

17. Tria Simmons (Ia) 5479

(13.49, 5-6½/1.69, 39-10¾/12.16, 24.42 [3507–=6], 18-10½/5.75, 78-1½4.05, 2:19.26 [1972]);

18. *Ariel Okorie (KsSt) 5439

(13.70, 5-5¼/1.66, 32-2¾/9.82, 24.82 [3248–18], 18-3¾/5.58, 131-0/39.92, 2:21.59 [2191]);

19. ***Beatričė Juškevičiūtė’ (Corn) 5438

(14.70, 5-3/1.60, 41-¼/12.50, 25.38 [3164–22], 18-2¼/5.54, 148-7/45.28, 2:22.26 [2274]);

20. *Christina Chenault (UCLA) 5386

(14.41, 5-3/1.60, 38-10½/11.85, 25.14 [3182–19], 18-10¾/5.76, 108-0/32.93, 2:14.86 [2204]);

21. Amanda Levin (NDSt) 5332

(14.98, 5-3/1.60, 39-5/12.01, 24.52 [3173–21], 18-9¾/5.73, 108-2/32.97, 2:17.50 [2159]);

22. Michaela Wenning (Co) 5274

(14.35, 5-5¼/1.66, 37-9¼/11.51, 26.02 [3159–23], 17-11/5.46, 129-11/39.60, 2:24.23 [2115]);

23. *Jenny Kimbro (Ia) 5023

(13.48, 5-6½/1.69, 37-4½/11.39, 24.36 [3462–11], 18-4½/5.60w, 3f, 2:19.34 [1561]);

24. Maja Wichhart-Donzo (Co) 4554

(14.21, 5-5¼/1.66, 36-9¾/11.22, dq [2365–24], 18-8/5.69, 112-2/34.20, 2:16.14 [2189]).

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