Maggie Malone Is Back

Maggie Malone’s first meet since May of ’17 found her back over the 180 barrier. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

AS A TEXAS A&M senior in ’16, Maggie Malone emerged as a bright new U.S. javelin hope, winning not only the NCAA title, but also the USATF crown, which garnered her a spot on Team USA in Rio. Her best throw of the year, 204-0 (62.19) to win the NCAA, made her the collegiate recordholder and No. 4 on the all-time U.S. list.

But injuries got in the way and she threw only three times in ’17, wrapping up her brief season on May 20. “In 2016 I had a fractured left heel,” explains Malone, who is working at her alma mater as a program coordinator and analyst with the athletic department. “And then for 2017 and 2018 I had three bulging discs. I ended up getting surgery and was told to sit out for the discs. I was able to run, but not do much lifting or plyos for a while. I couldn’t throw at all since I couldn’t get my back into the positions I needed to throw. So, I took off more time mentally because I felt frustrated and too consumed by the sport after the injuries. I felt like it was God’s timing to step away from the javelin for a while to get both physically and mentally healthy again.”

Color her return after almost 2 years off a success. Throwing at Baylor’s Michael Johnson Invitational on April 20 she reached 182-7 (55.67), a mark only 8 Americans bettered all of last year. “I had a stinger today while warming up, so I didn’t think I was going to throw,” she says. “But I wanted to get all 6 throws in to get a meet under my belt. Now it’s time to put the work in. Still, my goal is 2020. It’s been weird getting back into throwing since I’m working now. It’s finding a new rhythm and balance for all that. It’s been hard and different, but I have an awesome support system and friends. I’m excited for the season. I’m excited to see what 2019 and 2020 have in store. I know I have more work to do to reach my goals, but overall I’m blessed to finally be healthy again and back competing in the sport I love.”

Her series included an opening throw of 167-7 (51.09) followed by 3 fouls. Then she hit the big one in round 5 and finished with 171-4 (52.24).