World Junior Championships (Poland)

Conor McCullough (Chaminade, West Hills, CA) placed second at today’s world junior championships with a new personal best throw of 75.88m (248’11”). McCullough threw the international 6-kilogram implement within four feet of a win and also helped a 1-2 sweep by the US. Winning the competition was former high school national record holder Walter Henning. Henning set a new national junior record of 76.92m (252’04”), which eclipsed the previous nation record of 76.76m that he set in May of this year.

Henning also led the competition from start to finish. In the first round, Henning eclipsed 76 meters. By the end of the competition, he was the only thrower to break that barrier and did do three times in the competition. McCullough, on the other hand, was not in position to make the finals after the first two rounds. His third attempt of 75.88m not only secured a spot in the finals, but ended up being good enough for second place.

The women’s competition took place earlier in the week. D’Ana McCarty, a freshman at the University of Louisville, was the top American finisher in 21st with a throw of 53.97m (177’00”). National junior champion Irene Cooper of Western Michigan University was unable to make the trip due to passport issue. Lauren Chambers (Kell, Marietta, GA) replaced her, but fouled out in the qualifying round.

Continue reading for the complete results and some quotes from Henning and McCullough.

Quotes from Walter Henning

  • “It hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m sure it will during the plane ride back to the United States. I’m really excited that Conor and I could make history like this. I’m speechless, I really don’t know what to say. It’s awesome.
  • (On first throw): “Conor and I chatted last night and we thought that 74 meters would win it. I went out there and decided I wanted to throw a big throw on my first attempt to get everybody else scared a little bit. That’s what I did and it held up.
  • (Last attempt): “I was able to relax, since I knew I had already won, and release another big throw in the last round.
  • (US sweep): “That’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying as hard as we can to get the hammer exposed and hopefully we’ll keep throwing the hammer like we are now and into the professional ranks.
  • “I think I was still feeling the jet lag during the qualifying round the other day. I also went into the round with a bit of a big head, thinking I would be able to throw 74 pretty easily. I didn’t since the circle was a little slow and I had to get used to that. I’m happy that it all came together today when it counted.
  • “Ever since I went to Moracco in 2005 I put all my training towards winning this meet on this day. I am happy that my peak went well and that the rest of the US team helped out a lot with the cheering. Pretty much the entire team is out here today.
  • “To carry the flag during the opening ceremony is a tremendous honor. I was able to do that last year in Brazil during the Pan Am Juniors. It’s phenomenal to be able to carry the flag, win a gold medal, set a PR and an American record.”

Quotes from Conor McCullough

  • “It was all or nothing in the third round. That’s when all the hundreds and hundreds of throws pay off, is in that kind of situation where you let your body do what it needs to do.
  • “I knew it was going to get me into the final, but I didn’t realize it was going to put me into second place. That put a huge smile on my face.
  • “As far as I know it’s the first time ever for a U.S. 1-2 in this event. It’s pretty exciting to accomplish that.
  • “I think I was able to PR today since I had a bit more time to rest and adjust. It’s the first time all year where I’ve had less volume and my body actually gets to rest. Then I was able to put a big mark out there.
  • “The atmosphere here was really awesome. I enjoyed it.”

IAAF World Junior Championships
July 8-13, 2008
Bydgszcz, Poland

Men's Hammer Throw
1 Walter Henning USA 76.92 (AJ)
2 Conor McCullough USA 75.88 (PB)
3 Aleh Dubitski BLR 75.42
4 Pawel Fajdek POL 75.31 (NJ)
5 Siarhei Kalamoets BLR 74.22
6 Dániel Szabó HUN 73.56 (PB)
7 Ákos Hudi HUN 73.31 (PB)
8 Markus Johansson SWE 72.97
9 Andriy Martynyuk UKR 72.26
10 Denis Lukyanov RUS 70.77
11 Mirko Micuda CRO 70.41
12 Javier Cienfuegos ESP 65.93

Women's Hammer Throw
1 Bianca Perie ROU 67.95 (CR)
2 Katerina Šafránková CZE 63.13
3 Jenny Ozorai HUN 60.80
4 Barbara Špiler SLO 60.18 (NJ)
5 Ariannis Vichy CUB 58.78
6 Gabi Wolfarth GER 58.69
7 Sophie Hitchon GBR 58.45
8 Alina Kastrova BLR 58.03
9 Natallia Shayunova BLR 58.00
10 Andriána Papadopoúlou-Fatála GRE 57.98
11 Carolin Paesler GER 57.29
12 Tereza Králová CZE 55.90
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