Minderler: Going Out A Champion

By Ryan Broadhead

Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., is a place where USC's Marissa Minderler will be forever known as a champion.

After winning the 2011 women's hammer championship in Tucson, Ariz., with a throw of 210-3 (64.09m), Minderler recorded a throw of 220-11 (67.35m) on her final throw resulting in another individual title on Saturday at the 2012 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships. The mark ranked fifth on the Pac-12's all-time performance list.

It would be easy to assume, since she was the defending hammer champion, that Minderler was ready for a repeat. Instead the situation was completely different.

"I was going through a rough patch with hammers for the past month," she said. "My coach and I really broke down my technique. I almost had to re-learn the hammer."

The rough patch that Minderler refers to resulted in a third-place finish at the Oxy Invitational Colleges last weekend, a fourth-place finish at the USC vs. UCLA meet on April 29, and an eighth-place showing at the 54th-Annual Mt. SAC Relays on April 19-21.

For an athlete like Minderler, who participates in the hammer, javelin, discus and the shot put, the adjustments to improve were worth the effort.

"Hammer is definitely my favorite event," she said. "It really is an interesting event. I'm attracted to the challenges it brings, as far as where you have to be mentally."

On Saturday, May 12, 2012 Minderler was in the right place mentally.

When asked if there is an extra bit of adrenaline for this year's championship, she said, "Absolutely. I mean I'm a senior. This is my last year for NCAA's and then it's off to the real world," she said. "I just want to end on the best note possible."

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