Need A Bigger Hammer?
The women's hammer competition at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., went off with a bang as Nike's Amber Campbell and UNLV's Amanda Bingson had nearly identical marks, but new American record holder Jessica Cosby was in a dogfight for the final spot to advance to London with Team USA.
Cosby, who broke the U.S. national mark at the Pre Classic (243-5), threw 70.77 (232-2) on her third throw of the night, but could not improve upon that in the bonus tosses as Amy Haapenen and Keelin Godsey both came after her. Godsey's fourth rounder was within a foot of Cosby's mark at 70.48 (231-1) while Haapenen came even closer to taking over a medal slot with a toss of 70.63 (231-8).
But none of three would get any further and Campbell (OT record 71.80/235-6), Bingson (71.78/235-6) and Cosby became the first London qualifiers from the U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon.
"The energy was through the roof, everybody was into every throw, and I was excited about it." said Campbell.
The men's event was not a pretty affair as the top throw of the competition — 74.97 meters (245-11) — was exactly 10 feet shy of the Olympic A qualification mark. But the winner, Kibwe Johnson of the New York AC, has already hit the A and will be joined by Nike's A.G. Kruger, the only other qualifier for London. Kruger was third at the Trials in 73.93 (242-6), behind Chris Cralle's best of 74.36 (243-11).
"I feel half excitement and half relief," said Johnson. "I knew I wanted to come here and win and I am happy with the results."
Conor McCullough, who was declared ineligible by Princeton University the day before the NCAA Championships, took fourth in 73.55 (241-3).
What the men's throws may have lacked in distance was compensated by margin. While Johnson's winning mark was the shortest championship effort in 28 years, the fifth-place mark of 73.51 meters (241-2) was the longest fifth-place effort in Trials' history.