USATF Men’s Hammer — A Rash Of Qualifying Standards

Conor McCullough came to town without a Q and promptly unleashed a trio of them. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

NEVER BEFORE was there a U.S. hammer championship like this. Coming in, only Sean Donnelly and Alex Young owned WC-standard marks. Neither of them made the team, as the throwers came out blazing and by the end of the day, 3 more had exceeded the standard of 76.00 (249-4).

Donnelly 250-7 (76.38), Rudy Winkler 251-0 (76.51), and Conor McCullough 252-4 (76.92) achieved the benchmark in a “can you top this?” opening-round sequence that set the tone for the entire competition. New NCAA champion Daniel Haugh joined them over 76 in the next round at a PR 250-9 (76.44) and edged by Donnelly into 3rd, and that’s how the standings finished. With the last throw of the day, McCullough put a 256-4 (78.14) exclamation point on this memorable competition. It vaulted him from No. 10 to No. 8 on the all-time U.S. list. “[With] all the young guys coming up, it’s exciting to have a US Championships with four guys over 76m,” he said.

For Winkler, it was not only qualifying for Worlds but exceeding the WC standard at the Nationals that boosted his confidence. “That’s a big pressure off my back,” he said. “I feel really good going into this next year knowing I’m fully capable.” Donnelly was nothing but gracious in the face of what had to be a heartbreaking outcome—a miss to Doha by 2 inches. “I’m disappointed in the placing, but don’t have any regrets,” he said. “Those three guys earned it, they threw well.”

The new kid on the block summarized it best. Said Haugh of this year’s 76-meter fest, “This is a big, big landmark, a big checkpoint in American hammer throwing for the next years to come. I think today is the first day of an era of American hammer throwing that people will remember. I’m just honored to be a part of that and honored to get 3rd with these great guys.”

He continued, “We have a stallion group of hammer throwers right now. I think this might be the best hammer throwers we’ve ever had in the United States with four guys over 76m. It’s been a while since we’ve had that depth.” Correct. This is the deepest men’s field (through 6 places) at the Nationals ever, exceeding the standard set in ’87. 6th place this year? 245-5 (74.80) Winner last year? 242-0 (73.76).


USATF MEN’S HAMMER RESULTS

(July 26)

1. Conor McCullough (NYAC) 256-4 (78.14) PR (8, x A) (AL)

(252-4 PR [10, x A], 252-2, 246-5, 247-9, f, 256-4) (76.92, 76.86, 75.10, 75.51, f, 78.14);

2. Rudy Winkler (Vel/NYAC) 251-0 (76.51)

(251-0, 247-8, 246-7, 245-3, f, 247-0) (76.51, 75.48, 75.16, 74.76, f, 75.30);

3. Daniel Haugh (Kenn) 250-9 (76.44) PR

(243-8, 250-9, 245-1, 246-4, 243-0, f) (74.28, 76.44, 74.70, 75.09, 74.06, f);

4. Sean Donnelly (adi) 250-7 (76.38)

(250-7, 236-0, f, f, 243-7, 243-11) (76.38, 71.93, f, f, 74.24, 74.34);

5. Michael Shanahan (unat) 245-5 (74.80) PR

(236-10, 240-5, 244-0, 244-1, 245-5, 243-8) (72.20, 73.29, 74.37, 74.40, 74.80, 74.29);

6. Alex Young (Velaasa) 245-5 (74.80)

(f, 240-2, f, 238-7, 245-5, 240-2) (f, 73.20, f, 72.73, 74.80, 73.20);

7. Morgan Shigo (PennSt) 238-4 (72.64) PR;

8. Colin Dunbar (Iron) 232-8 (70.93);

9. Bobby Colantonio (Al) 225-0 (68.59);

10. Brock Eager (unat) 222-11 (67.94);

11. Darien Thornton (unat) 222-4 (67.76);

12. Jordan Crayon (VelT1D) 220-11 (67.34);

13. Marcus Myers (unat) 220-10 (67.32);

14. Joe Frye (unat) 219-9 (66.98);

15. Grant Cartwright (Vel) 215-9 (65.77);

16. Justin Stafford (unat) 214-10 (65.49);

17. Erick Loomis (CSN) 214-0 (65.23);

… 3f—Daniel Roberts (Vel). ◻︎

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