By Romaine Soh / TrackTown USA
EUGENE, Ore. – All the little cues Maggie Ewen had been working on for the whole year finally came together on Thursday.
The Arizona State junior hurled a lifetime best of 240 feet, 7 inches on her third attempt in the hammer throw to break the collegiate and meet record at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
“I finally got it,” said Ewen with a smile.
Ewen, who placed ninth at last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials, said she felt so excited that she couldn’t quite “make anything work again” on her subsequent throws, but it turned out to be inconsequential. More than 15 feet separated her and runner-up Brooke Andersen, of Northern Arizona, who also threw a lifetime best of 225-1.
The collegiate record had been on Ewen’s mind this season, but she tried not to think about it as she stepped into the cage.
“Don’t try to fish for it, because it seems to get further away and mess with your brain,” Ewen said.
A few hours after her monumental achievement, Ewen stepped into another ring, this time to compete in the shot put. Ewen, the Pac-12 champion in the hammer, shot and discus, finished sixth with a toss of 57-1.
There is a lot of untapped potential in the hammer throw – the top five finishers on Thursday were all underclassmen, and three of the scorers are freshmen. Ewen fully understands that her record could soon be broken again, but she’s not about to relinquish it easily.
“I would love to see someone break it, but hopefully that’s me,” said Ewen, who will compete in the discus on Saturday.