Ava David leads girls hammer throw at Super Thrower TC meet
Lake Oswego's Ava David knew the instant the weight left her hands that she had unleashed a big throw.
David threw a personal best of 182 feet, 1 inch to claim top honors in the girls hammer throw at Friday's Super Thrower Track Club all-comers meet at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City.
Sandy's Keeley Rasmussen finished second with a throw of 159-9, and West Albany's Alyssa Walls placed third at 155-1, but the day belonged to David, who surpassed her previous best of 180-2 and solidified her No. 4 standing among the nation's top high school girls in the hammer throw this season.
"Everything connected," David said. "I've been training hard and smoothing out a lot of the problems I've been having with my technique, and it all came together today, which was nice.
"There's still a lot of work to be done, but I figured out the cues that I was working on today."
David opened her series with a throw of 166-3, followed by a foul on her second throw, a mark of 178-3 on her third throw, and then had her best throw of the day on her fourth attempt.
"You can tell as soon as it comes off your hand if it's going to go or not," she said. "That one was a little bit quicker than some of my other throws today, so it just had a little bit more speed on the ball."
David reached back for a little something extra on each of his last two throws, but scratched on both attempts to close out the competition.
"It's always awesome to PR," she said. "I really can't ask for anything else. This is what I love to do, and being successful in it is just the cherry on top.
"This summer, in particular, has really been incredible. We've done a lot of work throwing hammer this summer and I've set the bar really high for myself. It was like, 'OK, even if I don't meet these goals, I'll still be in a pretty good place.' And I've exceeded all my expectations, so I'm feeling really good about where I am right now."
Super Thrower coach Scott Skipper said David's big throw was a surprise, coming at the end of a week of heavy weightlifting — 290-pound squats, 155-pound bench press, and 160-pound power cleans — in addition to some heavy plyometric workouts.
"I crushed her this week," Skipper said. "There's no way she should have thrown 182. No way. And she did."
The club's final all-comers meet of the 2019 outdoor season will feature two events — hammer throw and discus — and is scheduled for Aug. 23 at Clackamas Community College, beginning at 5 p.m.
"We'll back off the weights for about three or four days before that meet and let the big dogs eat," Skipper said. "It should be a lot of fun. And with as much as we've put on Ava, I wouldn't be stunned if she threw 190."
After the Aug. 23 meet, David plans to take a two-week break "from everything and just rest — no throwing, no lifting, and no training of any kind."
"Then after that, we'll start getting prepped for the indoor season and doing a lot more heavy lifting to the strength up and we'll start breaking down technique," David said. "Right now, we're in a phase of our training cycle where we're trying to make perfect throws and go after some big marks.
"When we start breaking down technique, it's something that needs to be done because sometimes you have to go backward before you can go forward."
David, a rising senior at Lake Oswego, plans to continue her throwing career in college and is looking at several NCAA Division I schools in both the Pacific-12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference.
"I'll take some visits to in the fall to various campuses and kind of see if I can envision myself living there for the next four to five years," she said. "Then once I hopefully get some scholarship information back, I'll make a decision after that."
Friday's meet featured only hammer throw and discus competitions and of the 27 athletes who competed, most of them train together at Skipper's track club in Oregon City.
"My kids are working hard and I want them to see each month how much they've improved," Skipper said. "It's hard to get kids to work hard if they don't have any meets to see the progress that they've made and see the hard work paying off."
Among Friday's other highlights:
• West Albany's Aiden Paul cleared a major hurdle in his development as he broke the 180-foot barrier in the boys discus for the first time, winning the boys 17-18 division Friday with a personal-best throw of 180 feet, 1 inch.
The winning mark broke his previous PR of 177-1.
"I thought I could hit 180 at the beginning of the high school season, but I couldn't," said Paul, the reigning OSAA Class 5A boys discus state champion. "I've spent five months trying to hit that in every single meet I've gone to, just fingers crossed for 180.
"Today, I wasn't even doing all that well and then I just fixed one thing and it went far."
So, what needed fixing?
"It was in the front," he said. "I was falling back on my finish, so I made sure I got out over the front of the ring to get more distances, and it worked."
Paul, a junior-to-be at West Albany, opened his four-throw series with a toss of 159-10 and then worked his way up from there, closing with marks of 162-7, 162-11, and 180-1.
"Honestly, the last throw didn't feel any better than some throws I've had before that I felt were perfect," Paul said. "It felt good, but it didn't feel perfect. And then I saw how far it went and … I wasn't expecting that.
"Coming in here today, I didn't think I'd throw a PR today because lately in practice I haven't been throwing far. Hitting 180 now is really satisfying because I've been working for that for a while. It's really great."
Paul now has his sights set on a throw of 190 and then a throw of 200 before — marks that Skipper agrees are within Paul's reach between now and the end of his junior year.
"For Aiden to life as much as he had been lifting this week and then to throw that far just says there's a lot more distance to be had," Skipper said. "I honestly could see him going up 15 to 20 feet from what he did today, which would put him at 195 to 200 feet. That's kind of what I think our goal should be and that's a realistic goal.
"I don't want to say that distances are the most important thing, but they're pretty cool, especially when you have a group of kids doing as well as these kids."
• Cleveland's Daniel Coppedge won the boys hammer throw with a mark of 173-11 on his next-to-last throw of the competition, while Tualatin's Mariano Kis took second at 170-1 and West Albany's Paul was third with a personal-best 161-5.
Coppedge, a rising senior, had a foul on his first throw, followed by a mark of 150-4 on his second attempt, then two more fouls, before he closed out the series with marks of 173-11 and 166-6.
"Form-wise, I think the winning throw was just like all of the other ones, only that time I stayed in the ring, which was good," Coppedge said. "I've tightened up my footwork and gone from three turns to four turns, which gives me more power when I come around to the finish.
"I have a different mindset, too. I'm more confident when I come into meets because I know what I'm capable of now."
• Milwaukie's Wayne Sabin, 86, competed unopposed in the masters division of the men's hammer throw, posting six marks over 64 feet, including a winning toss of 73-2 1/2.
"Today was normal, nothing exceptional," said Sabin, a 1952 graduate of Springfield High School. "I felt good and I was pleased with how I threw. I was going to take what I could get. I didn't take it too seriously, which happens when there isn't any competition.
"I still had fun. It's always nice to be among friends and the other throwers. I enjoy the camaraderie and seeing the other throwers throw."
SUPER THROWER TRACK CLUB MEET
At Clackamas CC, Oregon City
Friday, Aug. 9
17-18 Boys hammer — 1. Daniel Coppedge, Super Thrower TC, 173-11; 2. Mariano Kis, STTC, 170-1; 3. Aiden Paul, STTC, 161-5; 4. Jackson Gibbon, STTC, 149-4; 5. Andrew Wells, STTC, 147-10 1/2; 6. Grayson Wright, STTC, 87-10.
15-16 boys hammer — 1. Ian Clawson, STTC, 139-7 1/2; 2. Garret Bernt, STTC, 127-1; 3. D.J. Scott, STTC, 119-7.
13-14 boys hammer — 1. Drew Dunahugh, STTC, 78-0.
11-12 boys hammer — 1. Wyatt Vaughn, STTC, 50-7.
Men's masters hammer — 1. Wayne Sabin, Milwaukie, 73-2 1/ 2.
17-18 boys discus — 1. Aiden Paul, STTC, 180-1; 2. Jacob Slifka, unattached, 153-10; 3. Noah Culberton, Sherwood Track Club, 148-1; 4. Parker Williams, STTC, 128-7; 5. Joe Landerholm, 3 Peaks Track Club, 125-8 1/ 2; 6. Grayson Wright, STTC, 123-1; 6.
15-16 boys discus — 1. Garret Bernt, STTC, 120-0; 2. Ian Clawson, STTC, 105-10; 3. Andre Scott, STTC, 94-8; 4. David Dunahugh, STTC, 90-10.
13-14 boys discus — 1. Lander Marak, STTC, 117-4; 2. Drew Dunahughy, STTC, 59-8.
11-12 boys discus — 1. Wyatt Vaughn, STTC, 39-0.
Men's open discus — 1. Dayne Gordien, unattached, 158-10.
17-18 girls hammer — 1. Ava David, STTC, 182-1; 2. Keeley Rasmussen, STTC, 159-9; 3. Alyssa Walls, STTC, 155-1; 4. Tennison Brady, STTC, 125-9.
15-16 girls hammer — 1. Madison Jones, STTC, 129-7; 2. Haley Vanderzanden, Amity Track Club, 103-5.
13-14 girls hammer — 1. Madison Speer, STTC, 113-11.
17-18 girls discus — 1. Katey Krisky, STTC, 111-8.
15-16 girls discus — 1. Cassidy Faulkner, Central Oregon Track Club, 90-8; 2. Haley Vanderzanden, Amity Track Club, 90-5.
13-14 girls discus — 1. Madison Speer, STTC, 68-8 1/2.
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