Malone Defends U.S. Olympic Trials Title, Punches Ticket to Tokyo Olympics

Aggie professional Maggie Malone qualified for Team USA
Aggie professional Maggie Malone qualified for Team USA(Texas A&M Athletics/Errol Anderson)
Published: Jun. 27, 2021 at 2:46 PM CDT
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EUGENE, Oregon - For the second time in her career, Aggie professional Maggie Malone qualified for Team USA after claiming the U.S. Olympic Trials javelin title Saturday night at Hayward Field.

Malone set a meet record winning the U.S. Olympic Trials women’s javelin with a toss of 208-4 (63.50m), earning her a spot on Team USA to the Tokyo Olympics. Sitting in second place after four rounds, Malone let it fly on her fifth attempt to take the lead by nearly seven feet. It is Malone’s second U.S. Olympic Trials championship in as many appearances. In 2016, she claimed the championship with a toss of 199-7 (60.84m) becoming the first female javelin thrower to win an NCAA title and U.S. Olympic Team Trials title in the same season.

“Well, I was nervous. I’m sure everyone could see that. I couldn’t feel my legs through it, that’s what you saw, the series I did. I’m so thankful, because that 63-meters was not me, but it was God. Overall, I’m really thankful I’m going to Tokyo. I got some work to do when I get back to Birmingham,” Malone continued, “specifically I’m going to work on my rhythm. I made a dumb mistake and backed up my runway too far, I thought I could attack it today and ended up reaching out too far in front of me. I’m just gonna go back and work on the rhythm and technical things to make the finals and go from there.”

Incoming freshman, Katelyn Fairchild placed 12th with a series best toss of 146-4 (44.61m).

Sprinters Fred Kerley and Shamier Little advanced to Sunday’s finals in their respective events, Kerley in the men’s 200m and Little in the women’s 400m hurdles.

Kerley, already on Team USA in the 100m, clocked a personal best time of 20.08 to advance on time alone. The Nike professional placed fourth in the first heat and was the fastest non-automatic qualifier earning a lane in the finals. Little, representing Adidas, won her heat with a time of 53.72 to earn an automatic qualifying spot to the finals. The hurdler recorded the second fastest semifinal time, only behind Sydney McLaughlin’s time of 53.03.

Multi-athlete Annie Kunz finished day one of the heptathlon in first place with 4,042 points, the only heptathlete to surpass the 4,000 point mark after four events. After running 12.95 in the 100m hurdles (1,132 points) and clearing a personal best 5-11.25 (1.81m) in the high jump (991 points), she found herself sitting fifth with 2,123 points after two events. Kunz, a 2016 graduate, won the shot put with a mark of 51-7.25 (15.73m), propelling herself to first place overall after three events with 3,033 points. The Aggie professional wrapped up her day one competition clocking 23.71 in the 200m for an overall total of 4,042 points, a 96 point lead over Asics professional Taliyah Brooks.

Aggie professional Natosha Rogers, running for Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, placed seventh in the women’s 10,000m with a time of 31:59.09.

Aggies in Sunday’s Finals (All times CT)

NBC Broadcast starts at 6 pm CT

Annie Kunz – Heptathlon Day Two (3 pm, 4:15 pm, 5:50 pm)

Shamier Little – Women’s 400m Hurdles (6:18 pm)

Athing Mu – Women’s 800m (6:30 pm)

Fred Kerley – Women’s 200m (6:52 pm)

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