2017 USATF Championships Women’s Throws Guide

The NCAA Championships earlier this month showcased the next generation of throwers with individuals like Maggie Ewen setting an NCAA record and scoring in three events. However the veterans of the American throwing scene are not ready to hand over baton quiet yet. Names like Michelle Carter, Kara Winger, and Gia Smallwood-Lewis will be looking to keep their hold at the top of their respective events as the US Championships kick off on Thursday. For a preview of the men’s action, see the guide we posted yesterday.

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Women’s Shot Put

  • Favorite: Michelle Carter
  • Defending Champion: Michelle Carter
  • Other Contenders: Dani Bunch, Raven Saunders
  • Schedule: Saturday, June 24th, 12:30pm PST

After winning Olympic gold and setting the American record in 2016, Michelle Carter has had a lower profile in 2017. She hsa competed just four times, but still captured the US indoor title and a win on the Diamond League Circuit. Still, a win is not guaranteed. Dani Bunch beat her in Carter’s last competition at the Rome Diamond League. Raven Saunders enters the competition with the best mark of the year from the NCAA Indoor Championships, but has competed sparingly and failed to find that same form outdoors. Most recently she placed just fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Track and Field News predicts Saunders to place just seventh, but she will likely be a contender as she is one of only three throwers to break 19 meters this year. But it will be a slugfest to make the World Championship team. After the top three, just two feet separate the rest of the top 10 Americans this year and all have the IAAF World Championships qualifying standard.

2017 US Shot Put Top 10
19.56 64-2¼ Raven Saunders (Mississippi) NCAA Indoors
19.32 63-4¾ Michelle Carter (Nike) Doha DL
19.12 62-8¾ Dani Bunch (Nike) Rankin-Poehlein
18.72 61-5 Felisha Johnson (Nike) Indianapolis
18.60 61-¼ Monique Riddick (Unattached) Tucson Elite II
18.54 60-10 Jeneva Stevens (NYAC) Auburn Invite
18.48 60-7¾ Brittany Smith (Nike) Ironwood Classic
18.36 60-3 Jessica Woodard (Oklahoma) Big 12 Champs
18.12 59-5½ Maggie Ewen (Arizona State) Kirby Invite
18.12 59-5½ Erin Farmer (Arizona State) NCAA West

Women’s Discus Throw

  • Favorite: Gia Smallwood-Lewis
  • Defending Champion: Whitney Ashley
  • Other Contenders: Valarie Allman, Whitney Ashley
  • Schedule: Thursday, June 22nd, 5:50pm PST

She’s back. Gia Smallwood-Lewis set an American record and lit the world on fire back in 2014. But since then she has struggled with injuries and form. Now, despite recently turning 38, she seems to be back after setting a nation-leading mark at the Ironwood Classic this month. Stanford graduate Valarie Allman was close behind her at that meet and has improved her personal best by more than three meters this season. Olympian Whitney Ashley and 2013 World Championships team member Liz Podominick are the only other competitors with the IAAF World Championships qualifying standard of 61.20 meters.

2017 US Discus Top 10
65.81 215-11 Gia Lewis-Smallwood (Nike) Ironwood Classic
64.69 212-3 Valarie Allman (unattached) Cardinal Classic
63.85 209-5 Whitney Ashley (Nike) Triton Invite
61.35 201-3 Liz Podominick (unattached) Chula Vista
61.16 200-8 Kelsey Card (Nike) Triton Invite
60.79 199-5 Summer Pierson (Unattached) Salinas
60.51 198-6 Maggie Ewen (Arizona State) Chula Vista
59.38 194-10 Kayla Hopkins (Fresno State) NCAA West
59.37 194-9 Laulauga Tausaga (Iowa) NCAA West
58.48 191-10 Rachel Dincoff (unattached) Ironwood Classic

Women’s Hammer Throw

  • Favorites: Gwen Berry, DeAnna Price, Amber Campbell
  • Defending Champion: Amber Campbell
  • Other Contenders: Maggie Ewen
  • Schedule: Sunday, June 25th, 11:15am PST

As we mentioned in season preview, the women’s hammer throw is on fire this year in America. Gwen Berry has shattered the American record, Deanna Price keeps closing in on her, Maggie Ewen set an NCAA record, and veteran Amber Campbell is consistent as always. That consistency might prove to Campbell’s benefit as it did last year when she set a personal best to win the Olympic Trials. Berry has a history of inconsistent performance at championships and, while she has found a new level of performance that might secure her the win, Campbell’s track record of performing when it counts could be crucial. Two things is guaranteed: it will be a thrilling competition to watch and the US will be sending a strong team to the World Championships.

2017 US Hammer Top 10
76.77 251-10 Gwen Berry (Nike) Ole Miss Classic
74.40 244-1 Deanna Price (NYAC) Tucson Elite II
73.32 240-7 Maggie Ewen (Arizona State) NCAA Champs
72.80 238-10 Amber Campbell (Nike) São Bernardo IWC
72.06 236-5 Amanda Bingson (Nike/NYAC) Mt. SAC Relays
71.56 234-9 Jeneva Stevens (NYAC) Ironwood Classic
68.86 225-11 Heavin Warner (unattached) Tucson Elite II
68.62 225-1 Brooke Andersen (Northern Arizona) NCAA Champs
68.36 224-3 Jessica Ramsey (unattached) Tucson Elite I
66.97 219-8 Janee Kassanavoid (Kansas State) Texas Invite

Women’s Javelin Throw

  • Favorite: Kara Winger
  • Defending Champion: Maggie Malone
  • Other Contenders: Ariana Ince, Rebekah Wales
  • Schedule: Thursday, June 22nd, 4:00pm PST

Kara Winger has been at the forefront of American javelin throwing for the past decade and this year is no different. Despite competing only four times this year, she is the clear favorite heading into the US Championships. Only at one meet in February did she not throw further than her closest competitor Ariana Ince‘s season’s best. Ince has put together a strong season and is joined with LSU’s Rebekah Wales as the only throwers within shooting distance of the IAAF World Championships qualifying standard of 61.40 meters. Wales was the top American at the NCAA championships, but a strong international field left her only in fifth place there. She has a chance to place even higher at the US championships. Defending champion and Olympian Maggie Malone has been off of her form from last season but still has the fourth best qualifying mark.

2017 US Javelin Top 10
64.80 212-7 Kara Winger (Asics) Texas Invite
60.61 198-10 Ariana Ince (Unattached) IMG Challenge
58.23 191-0 Rebekah Wales (LSU) SEC Champs
55.94 183-6 Maggie Malone (Nike) Kingston IWC
55.47 182-0 Katie Reichert (Club NW) Beach Invite
55.37 181-8 Audrey Malone (Texas A&M) Castillo Invite
55.31 181-5 Madalaine Stulce (Texas A&M) SEC Champs
55.16 181-0 Kimberley Hamilton (Nike) Tennessee Relays
54.26 178-0 Katelyn Gochenour (Duke) NCAA Champs
53.37 175-1 Kylee Carter (Auburn) Florida State Relays
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