USATF Women’s Discus — Second Verse, Not The Same As The First

The last 3 throws were familiar to Valarie Allman, but oh, so much better than the NCAA’s. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

“I was having a little bit of flashback,” admitted Valarie Allman after experiencing a déjà vugene moment before claiming her first national title. It was easy for her to remember the NCAA two weeks earlier, where she had claimed the lead in the second round and stayed on top as the stanzas unfolded. She had still held the lead with two throwers to go, but watched first one, then the other, pass her, knocking her to 2nd and then 3rd. Even with the advantage of the competition’s final throw she couldn’t improve.

On her second throw here she had moved from 2nd to 1st with a 201-11 (61.55) toss that in the end would have been good enough to win. But she wasn’t done, extending her yearly American leader to 208-6 (63.55), the third-farthest throw of her career.

But she wasn’t home free yet. There she was, with two throwers to go—both of them collegians—remembering the Hayward horror. Laulauga Tausaga-Collins of Iowa raised some tingles with the longest toss of her career, but at 198-11 (60.65) it wasn’t close to unseating the leader.

Then there was one, but it was one to be feared. Maggie Ewen had moved past Gia Lewis-Smallwood (198-9/60.58) from 3rd into 2nd in round 5 with a fling of 200-6 (61.13). The same Maggie Ewen who had beaten Allman not only at the NCAA, but also at the Pac-12 and seemed to have her number. But not this day, and Allman became the first collegian to win this title since UCLA’s Seilala Sua in ’00.

Long frustrated by the injuries, the 23-year-old Colorado native said, “Today was the first day that I truly felt like myself; that I was really able to be a competitor rather than have some sort of thoughts in the back of my mind. As an athlete that’s what you want, to be able to go in hungry.”


USATF WOMEN’S DISCUS RESULTS

(June 21)

1. Valarie Allman (Stan) 208-6 (63.55) (AL)

(193-11, 201-11, 195-9, 208-6, f, 195-7) (59.10, 61.55, 59.68, 63.55, f, 59.62);

2. Maggie Ewen (AzSt) 200-6 (61.13)

(198-4, 195-1, 197-9, 192-3, 200-6, f) (60.46, 59.47, 60.28, 58.60, 61.13, f);

3. Laulauga Tausaga-Collins (Ia) 198-11 (60.65) PR

(191-5, f, f, 188-2, 179-0, 198-11) (58.34, f, f, 57.36, 54.56, 60.65);

4. Gia Lewis-Smallwood (NYAC) 198-9 (60.58);

(194-5, f, 188-2, 198-9, 193-8, 191-1) (59.26, f, 57.37, 60.58, 59.03, 58.24)

5. Gabi Jacobs (Mo) 197-4 (60.16) PR;

6. Kelsey Card (unat) 197-1 (60.07);

7. Alex Collatz-Sellens (unat) 186-7 (56.87);

8. Summer Pierson (unat) 184-8 (56.29);

9. Katelyn Daniels (MiSt) 184-3 (56.16);

10. Whitney Ashley (unat) 183-9 (56.01);

11. Jessica Woodard (Ok) 183-3 (55.85);

12. Rachel Dincoff (unat) 182-3 (55.56);

13. Abigale Wilson (Akr) 182-0 (55.47);

14. Alexandra Morgan (Iron) 180-1 (54.88);

15. Micaela Hazlewood (Pur) 175-9 (53.58);

16. Alison Szykowny (unat) 160-8 (48.97);

17. Erin Reese (InSt) 158-9 (48.40).

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