A FORMER AR HOLDER and now a 9-time U.S. champion, Kara Winger closed out her title bid in grand style, throwing a WC qualifying mark 210-10 (64.26) on her final throw. The 36-year-old had held the AR until last year when Maggie Malone surpassed it twice, eventually reaching 221-1 (67.10).
Malone, the heavy favorite despite a thin single-meet season, was the second thrower in the second flight. She started her day with a throw that stretched beyond 190 but landed outside the right sector line. Winger, fifth in the order, comfortably reached 191-7 (58.40) to take the lead, but was soon surpassed by Avione Allgood-Whetstone, who threw 191-11. Ariana Ince threw a safe 180-4 (54.97) to move into 3rd by the end of the first round.
Malone fouled again in round 2, putting her javelin out near the location of her first throw. Winger, Allgood and Ince also fouled their second attempts. Round 3 started with Seri Geisler moving into 3rd with a 180-4 (54.97) throw which equaled Ince’s best. Malone, the only participant with a WC qualifier in her pocket, was next up, needing a fair throw to virtually guarantee her a spot on the team, and a throw in the 170-foot range to move on to another three throws. She unleashed another in the 190s, but again it sailed down the right sector line, landing outside for her third foul, leaving her shattered and in tears.
Winger reached 191-2 (58.28) with her third rounder before Ashton Riner moved into 3rd with a 185-5 (56.52). Allgood fouled and Ince, with a strong charge down the runway, whipped a 198-3 (60.42) to take the lead.
Round 4 saw Winger, now in 3rd, foul. Allgood then unleashed her best of the day, 194-5 (59.26) to move to 2nd. Ince, now the last thrower in the order, duplicated her earlier throw of 198-3. In round 5, a foul by Allgood preceded a 198-4 (60.46) by Winger, which took the lead by one inch.
There was one improvement in round 6. Winger, up for her final throw at a national championship, lofted a high throw which landed close enough to the 65-meter sector arc to indicate she had reached the WC qualifying distance of 64.00 (210-0). Happiness turned to exuberance when 210-10 (64.26) was displayed.
Winger, who made her 10th global championships team, had intended to cap her career with Tokyo last year. But with only one year before this year’s Worlds, she decided this would be the last go-round. Landing the Q on her last throw clinched a great day. “That was extremely special for my last national championship,” she said while fending off her emotions.
WOMEN’S JAVELIN RESULTS
1. Kara Winger (Tracksm/NYAC) 210-10 (64.26)
(191-7, f, 191-2, f, 198-4, 210-10) (58.40, f, 58.28, f, 60.46, 64.26);
2. Ariana Ince (Vel) 198-3 (60.43)
(180-4, f, 198-3, 198-3, f, f) (54.97, f, 60.42, 60.43, f, f);
3. Avione Allgood-Whetstone (unat) 194-5 (59.26)
(191-11, f, f, 194-5, f, f) (58.50, f, f, 59.26, f, f);
4. Ashton Riner (BYU) 185-5 (56.52)
(163-7, f, 185-5, f, f, f) (49.87, f, 56.52, f, f, f);
5. Seri Geisler (SFA) 180-4 (54.97);
6. Maddie Harris (Nb) 178-6 (54.40);
7. Gabrielle Diederich (NDm) 173-11 (53.02) PR;
8. Rebekah Wales (unat) 173-5 (52.86);
9. Ashley Carter (Aub) 169-11 (51.79); 10. Madison Wiltrout (NC) 169-10 (51.76); 11. Kari Wolfe (NDSt) 163-4 (49.78); 12. Megan Albamonti (De) 161-10 (49.34); 13. Ava Curry (Mo) 161-5 (49.20); 14. Alex Mcallister (BYU) 160-6 (48.92); 15. Virginia Miller (Stan) 159-1 (48.50); 16. Kate Joyce (Prin) 145-4 (44.31); 17. Julia Harisay (Ga) 135-6 (41.30); 18. Riley Cooks (unat) 132-6 (40.40);… 3f—Maggie Malone (unat). ◻︎