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2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Eugene, Oregon

Most of the pre-event talk surrounding the women’s hammer throw centered on collegiate leader Bowling Green’s Brooke Pleger and defending champion Julia Ratcliffe of Princeton. But when the money was on the table, Southern Illinois’s DeAnna Price – coming in at #4 on the collegiate leader board – came through big time to snatch the victory with an NCAA championship meet record winning heave of 71.49m [234’6”]. Ratcliffe [67.30m/220’9”] grabbed the runner-up position; Pleger [67.03m/219’11’] took 3rd ; and Oregon’s Jillian Weir [66.74m/218’11”] finished 4th.

Price’s first two throws were unremarkable and offered no hint of what was to come. But the Missouri native’s third round mark of 67.33m [220’10”] gave her paper-thin lead of .03m – just over an inch – ahead of Ratcliffe.

Throwing last in the finals and invigorated by a mid-competition conversation with her SIU coach John Smith, she got down to business. Her fifth round heave of 68.33 [224’2”] increased her leading margin over Ratcliffe to just over a meter. And when the Princeton Kiwi’s final attempt was not an improvement, the Saluki had her crown – and one final attempt in the ring.

The title was hers, but the Southern Illinois junior was not going to squander her last throw. “Right off entry you can tell when that ball’s going to go. It just set up nice and perfect. And I just ripped into it. And when I did, I just popped it. And it went 71 and I was like, ‘There we go. That’s what I’m talking about.’” And with a smile, she added, “I liked being the dark horse. A lot of people did not expect me to do what I did today.” Dave Hunter

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Dunaway AwardAt the 2019 annual meeting of the Track and Field Writers of America, Dave was presented with the James Dunaway Memorial Award “for track & field journalism excellence.”

Dave Hunter

Dave HunterDave Hunter is a track & field journalist, announcer, and broadcaster.  Dave reports on the premier track & field gatherings around the globe, frequently serves as an arena or stadium announcer for championship events, and has undertaken foreign and domestic broadcast assignments in the sport.


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