Olympic Trials Men’s Javelin — Searching For Standards

Curtis Thompson raised his seasonal best to 271-7, but like all American javelinists he’s still shy of an Olympic Q. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

THROWING No. 10 IN THE ORDER, New Jersey native Curtis Thompson threw 263-7 (80.34) on his first throw, taking a quick early lead against the two Americans who had beaten him this spring. That would be Michael Shuey, who finished ahead of Thompson at the Texas Relays in March, and Riley Dolezal, who beat him at the USATF GP in this new Oregon facility in April.

That opener would hold up for the win, and the 25-year-old Mississippi State alum followed it up with three more throws beyond 260 (79.24), culminating in a pressure-free 271-7 (82.78), the second-longest throw of his career, in round 6.

Shuey, the 27-year-old Penn State grad from Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, threw 260-0 (79.24) in round 3, which held up for 2nd. Third place and a possible spot on the team had more drama.

Penn undergrad Marc Anthony Minichello held the catbird seat much of the way, sitting at 251-9 (76.73) as the final round of throws began. First, Denham Patricelli came close, heaving a PR 251-5 (76.63).

Now it was down to Dolezal, a part-time PE teacher at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo, North Dakota. At 36, Dolezal was running out of time. He had been on three World Championships teams but no Olympics, in spite of finishing 3rd at the Trials in ’16.

In Round 6 he found just enough, 252-10 (77.07), to pass Minichello by 13 inches.

The looming question is, do any of our American throwers get to go to these Olympics? None has the Games standard of 278-10 (85.00). In ’16, Thompson and Dolezal finished 2-3 at the Trials but were left behind in favor of two others who had that year’s standard.

World Athletics has introduced a world ranking system to identify which athletes can be invited in events where the quota for the field has not been filled. That is the case in this year’s men’s javelin, where the quota is 32. In the rankings as of the end of the day, Shuey stood No. 27, Thompson No. 32 and Dolezal No. 33.

The Rankings close July 01, giving all three a chance to improve their current ranking, if they can find a meet the final week. Of course, throwers from other nations have similar opportunities to improve as well.

Said Shuey, “I’m excited that the ranking system can give me the opportunity to still represent our country at the Games.”

MEN’S JAVELIN RESULTS

(June 21)

1. Curtis Thompson (unat) 271-7 (82.78)

(263-7, 243-8, 260-4, 262-9, 259-8, 271-7) (80.34, 74.27, 79.36, 80.08, 79.15, 82.78);

2. Michael Shuey (Vel/NYAC) 260-0 (79.24)

(240-2, f, 260-0, f, f, 258-2) (73.20, f, 79.24, f, f, 78.68);

3. Riley Dolezal (Vel) 252-10 (77.07)

(247-8, 247-5, f, f, 247-7, 252-10) (75.48, 75.42, f, f, 75.47, 77.07);

4. Marc Anthony Minichello (unat) 251-9 (76.73)

(237-11, 251-9, 242-0, 226-7, 224-11, 239-7) (72.52, 76.73, 73.76, 69.07, 68.57, 73.04);

5. Denham Patricelli (unat) 251-5 (76.63) PR

(f, 241-2, f, 240-4, 237-4, 251-5) (f, 73.51, f, 73.26, 72.35, 76.63);

6. Capers Williamson (unat) 247-1 (75.32)

(238-8, 242-6, 231-4, 247-1, 245-3, 238-0) (72.76, 73.93, 70.51, 75.32, 74.77, 72.54);

7. Sam Hardin (unat) 242-5 (73.88)

(237-5, f, 231-0, 239-8, 242-5, 238-11) (72.38, f, 70.42, 73.06, 73.88, 72.82);

8. Tzuriel Pedigo (LSU) 230-10 (70.37)

(209-3, 209-5, 229-2, 225-2, 226-7, 230-10) (63.78, 63.84, 69.86, 68.65, 69.07, 70.37);

9. Zach Holland (UmpCC) 221-7 (67.55)

(221-7, 211-9, 214-11) (67.55, 64.54, 65.52);

10. Ethan Shalaway (unat) 219-4 (66.86)

(219-1, f, 219-4) (66.78, f, 66.86);

11. August Cook (Army) 219-2 (66.81)

(202-3, 188-11, 219-2) (61.66, 57.59, 66.81);

12. Brett Thompson (PittSt) 210-2 (64.07)

(210-2, 205-7, 208-5) (64.07, 62.66, 63.53).

QUALIFYING (June 19)

Qualifiers: Minichello 251-5 (76.63), Thompson 250-1 (76.23), Williamson 249-2 (75.94), Shuey 243-8 (74.26), Dolezal 239-1 (72.88), Holland 237-8 (72.45), Cook 234-2 (71.38), Pedigo 232-0 (70.73), Thompson 230-0 (70.10), Patricelli 227-7 (69.37), Hardin 227-2 (69.25), Shalaway 223-3 (68.04);

Non-qualifiers: Aaron True (ShockTC) 222-5 (67.81), Cameron Bates (BYU) 221-7 (67.55), Donavon Banks (unat) 221-3 (67.45), Mark Porter (PennSt) 219-8 (66.96), Benji Phillips (NDSt) 216-2 (65.88), Scott Fuchs (IaSt) 212-10 (64.89), Cord Neal (SFA) 212-3 (64.70), Logan Wolfley (KsSt) 210-3 (64.08), Joshua Hudiburg (PittSt) 209-0 (63.70), Liam Christensen (Stan) 208-10 (63.66), Nick Howe (unat) 194-4 (59.25);… 3f—Cade Antonucci (Aub).

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