EUGENE, OREGON – Thursday's women's hammer contest at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted some of the greatest performances ever seen in this level of the sport, but in the end, the day – and the championship – once again belonged to Cal's Camryn Rogers, who smashed the collegiate record for the fifth time in her career on the way to her third straight NCAA hammer title.
"It was incredible," said Rogers afterward. "I was a little bit surprised – I watched it land and heard my whole family screaming, so that's when I knew it was a special throw. When the mark came up… oh my gosh. I was just so excited that I immediately had to throw my hands up to my mouth. It was almost overwhelming."
Rogers moves to ninth on the all-time world list with her new personal-best mark of 77.67m (254-10), which came on the fifth throw of an incredible series that read 74.90m, 75.11m, 74.69m, 74.92m, 77.67m, 75.91m.
"I don't think it's really sunk in yet," Rogers said of her new world standing. "I just kind of stopped for a second (when I heard), like 'are you serious?'"
Just the second athlete in collegiate history to win three hammer titles after SMU's Florence Ezeh (1999-2001), Rogers also becomes Cal's second athlete to win the same event three straight times, joining Sheila Hudson (triple jump, 1988-90) in that exclusive group. She also has the 10 longest throws in collegiate history, making 5 of those on Thursday alone.
Teammate Anna Purchase joined Rogers on the podium with her own impressive throw of 69.34m (227-6), finishing seventh in a historically deep field to clinch First Team All-American Status. This year's top-ranked British woman in the event, Purchase hit 70.63m (231-8) earlier this season at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. She is the second-best hammer thrower in Cal history after Rogers, owning a commanding 17-foot-8 lead over the No. 3 program mark.
Sprinter Ezinne Abba closed out her Cal career with a time of 11.22 in the 100m dash semifinals, earning Second Team All-American status after finishing 15th in the field. While not a personal best, that time was enough to surpass some of the nation's most talented runners, including Olympian Anavia Battle.
Day Three will act as a bit of a break for all but two Golden Bears: men's discus throwers Mykolas Alekna and Iffy Joyner. Most recently, Alekna set the all-time NCAA record as a freshman at the Pac-12 Championships, reaching a mark of 68.73m (225-6), while Joyner set his all-time best of 62.17m (204-0) at the Big Meet in April. They are both scheduled to throw in Flight Two of Friday's contest, which will begin at 5:35 p.m. PT.
Day Two Results
Decathlon: 19. Hakim McMorris 6958
-110m Hurdles: 14.26 (941 points, 3rd place)
-Discus Throw: 34.99m/114-9 (563 points, 20th place)
-Pole Vault: NH (0 points)
-Javelin Throw: 48.67m/159-4 (567 points, 18th place)
-1500m Run: 4:45.59 (646 points, 15th place)
Women's Hammer Throw: 1. Camryn Rogers 77.67m/254-10 (First Team All-American) (Canadian Record) (Collegiate Record) (Meet Record) (9th World History) (PR); 7. Anna Purchase 69.34m/227-6 (First Team All-American)
Women's 4x100m Relay Semifinals: - California (Jada Hicks, Jordyn Grady, Maisie Stevens, Aysha Shaheed) DQ
Women's 100m Dash Semifinals: 15. Ezinne Abba 11.22 (Second Team All-American)
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