Husky Recruit Midles Takes 2005 U.S. Hammer Lead

July 3, 2005

CENTRALIA, Wash. - Washington track and field recruit Zack Midles took over the 2005 U.S. prep lead in the hammer throw on July 3 with a lifetime-best effort at the Pre-4th of July Hammer Blast in Centralia, Wash.

A 2005 graduate of Capital High School in Olympia, Midles launched the hammer 226 feet, 9 inches, more than four feet beyond his previous season-best. Midles' throw moved the future Husky to the top of the 2005 U.S. prep rankings, surpassing by three inches the previous U.S. best of 226-6 set by New York high-schooler Walter Henning in May.

One of the most accomplished prep signees in recent UW history, Midles will begin his collegiate career next spring with a chance to become the Huskies' most outstanding hammer throw competitor in the last quarter-century, since Scott Neilson won four-straight NCAA titles in the event from 1976-79.

Already, Midles' prep best of 226-9 is just 12 feet behind Neilson's school record of 238-7, and is more than 10 feet beyond that accomplished by any other thrower in UW history. Midles' mark would have won the 2005 Pac-10 hammer title by nearly 18 feet, and would have placed the high-schooler second at the 2005 NCAA Championships.

Midles placed fourth at the USA Junior National Track and Field Championships in June, and was the gold-medalist at the 2004 USATF Junior Olympics Nationals. Midles comes from a long line of outstanding hammer throwers, including father Dwight, a star competitor at Washington State in the late 1970s; and brother Adam, the 2005 Pac-10 hammer champion for USC.

At Washington, Midles will team in the hammer with two-time All-Pac-10 performer Martin Bingisser, the third-place finisher in the hammer at the each of the past two Pac-10 Championships.

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