NCAA Men’s Hammer — First First For Haugh

Fifth last year, Daniel Haugh became Kennesaw State’s first champion ever. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

DANIEL HAUGH took the road less traveled to his—and Kennesaw State’s—first NCAA title. In his first season throwing for the Owls, Haugh, a senior transfer from Alabama, won a highly competitive hammer with his fifth-round 244-10 (74.63). Kansas’s Gleb Dudarev had come into the meet riding a 4-meet win streak which included titles at the Big 12 and West Regional meets. Hilmar Örn Jónsson of Virginia rode a 3-meet streak of his own, including the ACC and East Regional crowns. Haugh and defending champion Denzel Comenentia of Georgia had lost to Jónsson at the Regional.

Comenentia, the yearly leader at 252-0 (76.80), showed cracks in his armor with that loss as well as a runner-up finish in the SEC Championships. Nonetheless, he remained favored, and took the lead briefly in an eventful third round with his 239-3 (72.93), in what would prove to be his only fair throw of the meet. Dudarev answered with a 242-5 (73.88) heave to make the massive Dutchman’s lead shortlived. Meanwhile, Jónsson put himself into the medal mix to stay with his 240-1 (73.19), good for 2nd at the time.

The fourth round was quiet, but the fireworks exploded in the fifth. With three throwers over 73m (239-6), the podium positions, as it turned out, were determined, with Thomas Mardal of Florida (239-10/73.10 PR) and Comenentia ending up 4th and 5th with the best marks for their positions in meet history.

Haugh took the lead for good with his PR and pushed Dudarev to 2nd, while Jónsson solidified his claim on 3rd with his 240-6 (73.31). Both Haugh and Dudarev had their second-farthest throws in the last round as Dudarev kept the pressure on Haugh until the very end, but among the top 9, there were no position changes in the final stanza.

“The only thought that comes to mind is thankful,” said Haugh. “Thankful for the Lord who makes this possible, thankful for my parents, my coaching staff, my friends and family who believe in me and push me day in and day out. None of this would be possible without the community that I am surrounded with on a daily basis.” He concluded, “It was just my training. “You know in these types of conditions and this environment you always fall back to the level of your training. I think that showed today.”


NCAA MEN’S HAMMER RESULTS

FINAL (June 05)

1. Daniel Haugh (KennSt) 244-10 (74.63) (10, x NCAA)

(236-11, 238-0, f, 240-8, 244-10, 243-1) (72.23, 72.55, f, 73.36, 74.63, 74.11);

2. *Gleb Dudarev’ (Ks) 242-5 (73.88)

(219-3, 234-4, 242-5, 229-5, 237-3, 240-3) (66.84, 71.42, 73.88, 69.94, 72.31, 73.24);

3. Hilmar Örn Jónsson’ (Va) 240-6 (73.31)

(f, 232-6, 240-1, f, 240-6, 234-7) (f, 70.87, 73.19, f, 73.31, 71.50);

4. **Thomas Mardal’ (Fl) 239-10 (73.10) PR

(f, 235-4, f, 234-9, 239-10, f) (f, 71.74, f, 71.57, 73.10, f);

5. Denzel Comenentia’ (Ga) 239-3 (72.93)

(f, f, 239-3, f, f, f) (f, f, 72.93, f, f, f);

6. AJ McFarland (Fl) 235-2 (71.68) PR

(223-11, 230-11, f, 233-10, 235-2, 229-1) (68.25, 70.38, f, 71.29, 71.68, 69.83);

7. Morgan Shigo (PennSt) 232-1 (70.75)

(f, 223-1, 232-1, f, 219-8, 231-4) (f, 68.01, 70.75, f, 66.95, 70.52);

8. Joe Ellis’ (Mi) 227-3 (69.26)

(218-8, 223-10, 227-3, f, 227-2, 220-9) (66.65, 68.22, 69.26, f, 69.24, 67.28);

9. Silviu Bocancea (Cal) 224-9 (68.50);

10. *Kevin Arreaga’ (Mia) 224-2 (68.32);

11. Anders Eriksson’ (Fl) 223-7 (68.14);

12. Brock Eager (WaSt) 222-1 (67.69);

13. **Geórgios Korakídis’ (Tn) 221-11 (67.65);

14. **Kieran McKeag (Mn) 221-9 (67.60);

15. Justin Stafford (UCLA) 219-11 (67.05);

16. ***Bobby Colantonio (Al) 218-1 (66.47);

17. Vlad Pavlenko’ (IaSt) 217-9 (66.39);

18. Nathan Bultman (USC) 215-10 (65.80);

19. *Alexios Prodanas’ (UMBC) 215-5 (65.66);

20. Erick Loomis (CSN) 215-1 (65.57);

21. Erich Sullins (Ar) 214-9 (65.47);

22. **Alex Talley (NDSt) 214-9 (65.47);

23. *Max Lydum (Or) 201-0 (61.26);

24. *Logan Blomquist (SEMo) 198-4 (60.45).

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 4–5)◻︎