EUGENE, Oregon -– Texas A&M junior Sam Humphreys threw a school record of 268 feet, 7 inches (81.86) to win the United States Olympic Trials on a rainy evening in front of 21,626 fans at Hayward Field on Monday.
“I’m superbly ecstatic,” stated Humphreys. “I never thought I would have got here when I first started throwing. To be here in this position, although not going to the Olympics being short by 14 centimeters, is heartbreaking. But I’m on top of the world right now.”
Humphreys winning distance came up an agonizingly five inches short of the Olympic A standard of 269-0 (82.00) for him to make the team going to London.
“I’m a little upset, but I have a lot more room for improvement,” noted Humphreys. “There is always the next four years to get that mark.”
Oregon’s Sam Crouser uncorked a personal best of 265-1 (80.80) on his final attempt, moving from sixth to second. He is also missing the Olympic A standard.
“I was thinking, please don’t let that pass me,” said Humphreys of Crouser’s improvement. “I’m extremely happy for him and his PR. That is a huge throw for a sophomore in college.”
Going to London are the 3-4-5 finishers in Craig Kinsley (262-2), Sean Furey (255-5) and Cyrus Hostetler (254-8). NCAA champion Tim Glover finished sixth with a 250-0 effort.
As the third thrower in the field of 12, Humphreys opened with a school record toss of 264-10 (80.74). Humphreys led the competition throughout all six rounds. His previous career best was a 261-3 (79.62) that placed him second at the NCAA Championships earlier this month.
In round two Humphreys hit his winning mark, which is the ninth best on the all-time collegiate list and fifth among American collegians. A foul followed in round three.
“On Saturday I was going a little bit slower with my approach, just trying to get to the finals,” explained Humphreys. “Today I sped it up and I was able to hit it a little bit harder which resulted in a farther distance.”
As the field was trimmed to eight, Humphreys held the final throwing position in the final three rounds. He hit 249-10 (79.16) in round four, then reached 265-2 (80.84) in the fifth stanza. Humphreys then closed out his victory with a 263-11 (80.44).
During the season 80 meters has been a goal for Humphreys and his impressive series included four efforts past that mark.
“I knew with the first 80m throw that I had the form working today,” said Humphreys. “The adrenaline was pumping since it was a final.
“The weather conditions weren’t great, and going out there and throwing that far I can’t wait for a good day. Hopefully for the NACAC meet in Mexico next month I can extend that mark.”
Humphreys and Glover have been selected to be part of the under-23 USA team that will compete in the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletics Association championships in Guanajuato, Mexico, from July 6-8.
“I’m real excited about representing the United States at the NACAC meet,” said Humphreys.
There will be a pair of off days at the Olympic Team Trials in Eugene. Action resumes on Thursday, June 28. The prelims of the women’s 200 will take place that day with an Aggie crew including Ashley Collier, Dominique Duncan, Porscha Lucas, and Jeneba Tarmoh.
Demetrius Pinder, Wayne Davis II claim titles in Bahamas and Trinidad
Demetrius Pinder, an NCAA Indoor 400m champion in 2011, won the Bahamas title over the weekend with a career best time of 44.77, which currently ranks seventh in the world for the 2012 season.
After posting a time of 44.94 in the prelims, Pinder was challenged by Ramon Miller in the final. Miller clocked a personal best of 44.87 in second place while Chris Brown finished third in 45.19.
In Trinidad and Tobago three Aggies were in competition this past weekend.
Wayne Davis II won the 110 hurdles in 13.62 seconds (1.0 wind) while Deon Lendore finished third in the 400 with a 45.74.
Kanika Beckles, of Grenada, ran in the women’s 400 and won the first section of a two-section final with a 53.13 clocking. Beckles finished second overall when Sparkle McKnight won the other section in 52.44.
At the end of the meet Lendore anchored the Trinidad and Tobago 4 x 400 relay to a winning time of 3:00.45 to break the national record of 3:01.05 set in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics. Running on the relay with Lendore were Renny Quow, Lalonde Gordon and Jarrin Solomon.
Gordon was the 400 individual champ at 45.40 while Quow finished second in 45.60. Solomon placed fourth in the 400 final at 45.88.