Lake Oswego's Ava David wins hammer throw in all-comers 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 the Super Thrower Track Club all-comers meet at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City Friday, Aug. 9.
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 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 her 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 get 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, an incoming 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."
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