As the season continues, marks continue to improve. For the third straight week Samantha Kunza (Timberland, Wentzville, MO) extended her national lead. Kunza was one of two top five improvements on the girl’s national list. The boy’s list also saw two top five improvements, led by Kyle Moison, who became the fourth thrower to break 210 feet so far this season.
About Bob Gourley
Bob Gourley has served as the throwing coach at Barrington High School in Rhode Island for the past three decades. He is also one of the top hammer throw statisticians in America and has published weekly national performance lists for more than 25 years.
Entries by Bob Gourley
After breaking the Washington state record last week, Trey Knight (Ridgefield, WA) continued his hot streak this week. While he was a few feet off his best with the 12-pound hammer, he hit a new personal best of 213’9″ with the collegiate 16-pound hammer to break Walter Henning’s 13 year old junior class record with that implement. It also makes him the third best thrower all-time in high school with the heavier hammer. On the girl’s national list, national leader Samantha Kunza (Timberland, Wentzville, MO) improved her best and extended the national lead in this week’s action.
As the season gets underway, there were changes up and down the national performance lists this week. Leading the way was junior Trey Knight (Ridgefield, WA), who took the national lead with a massive 20 foot personal best to kick off his outdoor campaign. His new best of 254’00” breaks Adam Midles’s 17 year old state record, and also moves him up to fourth best all-time in America. Sophomore Logan Coles (Woonsocket, RI) also made his debut in second position at the Knights of Columbus Relays. On the girl’s list Samantha Kunza (Timberland, Wentzville, MO) took the early national lead, although she was 10 feet under her top mark from last summer. Annika Kelly (Barrington, RI) improved her best to start the year ranked closely behind in second.
The outdoor season has started up in many areas across the country and we’re proud to kick off the outdoor national performance lists a little early this year. Kyle Brown (West Forsyth, Cumming, GA) and Chandler Hayden (Pittsfield, IL) are the early national leaders. One change to note for this year’s rankings: cutoff standards have been raised. Due to the increase level of competition accross the country, high school athletes will need to throw 160 feet (boys) or 130 feet (girls) to qualify for the national performance lists.
For decades I have compiled weekly national performance lists for the hammer throw. To be included on the list, the standards have long been set at 150 feet for boys and 120 feet for girls. Over this time, American youth hammer throwing has seen tremendous growth. Last year a record 298 throwers made the list, including 139 boys and 159 girls. That represents a 4.5% increase compared to the prior season and a new all-time high. This has made it harder and harder to keep track of all results. Therefore starting with the 2019 outdoor season, we are increasing the standards to be included on the national performance lists.
As the season comes to a close, there were relatively few improvements on this week’s national performance lists. Jacob Furland (Classical, Providence, RI) and Justin Loper (Whitewater, Fayetteville, GA) were the biggest movers this week, both improving among the nation’s top 10 at the USATF Hershey Youth Indoor Championships in New York on Saturday.
The big action over the last week was the New Balance Nationals Indoor, which shook up the national rankings. Monique Hardy (Webster Thomas, Webster, NY) added on to her national lead and moved up to sixth all-time among high with her winning throw. Annika Kelly (Barrington, RI) jumped up to third in the national with her silver medal performance. Overall, this week’s list had five improvements amongst the girl’s top 10. On the boy’s side Tyler Arbaugh (Van Buren, OH) improved in third position after his new best for silver at the meet. Elsewhere, Jake Furland (Classical, Providence, RI) improved to fifth nationally with a new best at Weightarama 2019 earlier in the week.
In the lead up to this weekend’s New Balance Nationals Indoors, several states hosted their championships last weekend including Ohio and New York. The biggest changes to the national lists came out of Ohio. Chris Burkhart (Hilliard Darby, Hilliard, OH) jumped up to sixth in the nation with a big improvement at the Ohio Championships. Emma Kowalski (Hilliard Darby, Hilliard, OH) and Kaila Barr (Waverly, OH) both broke into the girl’s top 10 with their improvements.
With little more than one week until the high point of the indoor season, last weekend was the calm before the storm amongst the nation’s top throwers with fewer improvements among the nation’s top 10. However many throwers continued to progress and break barriers. Two new girl’s broke 50 feet, brining the total to 25 throwers over the barrier so far in 2019. On the boy’s side, three new boy’s went over 65 feet for the first time, with 26 throwers now over that barrier in this week’s national performance list.
As we enter the final weeks of the indoor season there were big changes on this week’s national performance list. Trey Knight (Ridgefield, WA) extended his national lead by a massive six feet and challenged the national junior class record with his win at the Simplot Games. Over at the Rhode Island State Championships Kyle Moison continued his hot streak with a three foot best to jump up to second place nationally. Tyler Arbaugh (Van Buren, OH) also added more than four feet to his best to climb to third nationally. On the girl’s list, the top mover was Samantha Kunza, who moved up to fifth with an improvement of more than three feet.