Princeton freshman Conor McCullough uncorked a huge personal best to win the Heptagonal championship on Friday. McCullough’s third round effort of 70.37m (230-10) added eight feet to his personal best and also surpassed the national junior record by more than five feet. McCullough entered Princeton as the most highly acclaimed American high school hammer thrower in history. As a prep thrower at Chaminade High School in West Hills, California, McCullough won several national titles, broke the national record in the hammer throw and weight throw, and placed second at the 2008 World Junior Championships as just a 17 year old. The throw also surpassed the meet and league records, as reported by HepsTrack.com.
The junior national record was previously held by 2010 NCAA Indoor Champion and 2008 World Junior Champion Walter Henning with a throw of 68.75m in 2008. Henning currently has the second best mark in the NCAA at 72.98m. McCullough’s new best puts him one spot behind Henning in third. Henning still holds the U.S. junior record with the international 6-kilogram implement, which is a mark McCullough hopes to match this summer as he focuses on the World Junior Championships in July. McCullough now has the top junior mark in the world this year and has a chance to become the second American hammer thrower to win a gold medal in an international championship since Harold Connolly’s 1956 Olympic triumph.