Arizona State's Ewen sets collegiate record in hammer throw

Maggie Ewen in the middle of her collegiate and meet record throw of 240 feet, 7 inches in the hammer on day two of the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Photo: TrackTown USA, Josh Phillips

By Romaine Soh / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – All the little cues Maggie Ewen had been working on for the whole year finally came together on Thursday.

The Arizona State junior hurled a lifetime best of 240 feet, 7 inches on her third attempt in the hammer throw to break the collegiate and meet record at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Maggie Ewen’s reaction after setting a new lifetime best in the hammer. Photo: TrackTown USA, Josh Phillips

“I finally got it,” said Ewen with a smile.

Ewen, who placed ninth at last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials, said she felt so excited that she couldn’t quite “make anything work again” on her subsequent throws, but it turned out to be inconsequential. More than 15 feet separated her and runner-up Brooke Andersen, of Northern Arizona, who also threw a lifetime best of 225-1.

The collegiate record had been on Ewen’s mind this season, but she tried not to think about it as she stepped into the cage.

“Don’t try to fish for it, because it seems to get further away and mess with your brain,” Ewen said.

Maggie Ewen during her first attempt in the shot put on day two of the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Photo: TrackTown USA, Josh Phillips

A few hours after her monumental achievement, Ewen stepped into another ring, this time to compete in the shot put. Ewen, the Pac-12 champion in the hammer, shot and discus, finished sixth with a toss of 57-1.

There is a lot of untapped potential in the hammer throw – the top five finishers on Thursday were all underclassmen, and three of the scorers are freshmen. Ewen fully understands that her record could soon be broken again, but she’s not about to relinquish it easily.

“I would love to see someone break it, but hopefully that’s me,” said Ewen, who will compete in the discus on Saturday.