HUMBLE, Texas -- Texas A&M incoming freshman Ashtin Zamzow (Goliad, Texas) captured the heptathlon title at the USATF National Junior Olympics held at Turner Stadium with a career best score of 4,883 points on Tuesday. She won the seven-event competition by 110 points amid 23 competitors in the 17 to 18-year-old age group.
A career best throw of 152 feet (46.35 meters) in the javelin, the sixth discipline among the seven events in the heptathlon, vaulted Zamzow from fifth to first place. The javelin mark scored 790 points for Zamzow as the next best effort by the rest of the field in the throwing event was 105-7 for 518 points.
“It’s such a great experience, I’m so happy with the victory,” stated Zamzow. “It brought me to tears since I wanted to win this title so much. The javelin helped me rebound from a bad long jump and it pulled me ahead of everyone. So that made the 800 meters a bit easier.”
Last summer Zamzow placed eighth with a score of 4,396 in the USATF Junior Olympics (17-18 age group). In 2012 she scored 4,457 points as runner-up in the intermediate division at the AAU National Junior Olympics (15-16 age group).
For the 2014 season Zamzow’s 152-0 javelin throw ranks ninth nationally among high school throwers. She will compete in the javelin competition at the USATF Junior Olympics at noon on Sunday in Humble’s Turner Stadium.
“At the start of summer I threw 120 feet, so to improve to 152 is amazing,” noted Zamzow. “It felt so natural when I threw today. I wasn’t thinking about it, I was just having fun. I was so happy when I heard the distance I had thrown. I wanted to scream up and down, but I was in public, so I couldn’t do that.”
Zamzow also approached a pair of records for the event within a heptathlon. The American junior record for the heptathlon javelin is 158-9 (48.38) set by Deb Clark while competing for Nebraska in 1984 and the high school record is 154-10 (47.20) set by Courtney Kirkwood of Othello, Washington in 2008.
Heading into the javelin in fifth place overall with a score of 3,411 points through five events, Zamzow trailed the leading score of 3598 by 187 points. She opened her series with a 137-9 (42.00) and improved to 144-10 (44.14) on her second toss. The third round PR of 152-0 catapulted Zamzow into the lead with 4,201 points, 137 ahead of the previous leader.
A time of 2:30.84 (682 points) in the 800 meters, the final event of the heptathlon, secured Zamzow’s victory and career best score. The second day of the heptathlon opened with a 15-8.25 (500 points) leap in the long jump, which had moved Zamzow from second place to fifth overall through five events.
Zamzow’s efforts on the first day of the multi-event included a clocking of 15.10 seconds (828 points) in the 100 hurdles, a 5-3 (736) clearance in the high jump, a toss of 35-7.25 (585) in the shot put and a time of 26.41 seconds (762) in the 200 meters. Her first day score of 2,911 points placed her in second, just 132 points from the leading tally of 3,043.