DeAnna Price, Rudy Winkler Shine At U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field

DeAnna Price, Rudy Winkler Shine At U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field

NEW ORLEANS — The hammer throw took center stage at Hayward Field on Wednesday night.

DeAnna Price and Rudy Winkler stole the spotlight during the sixth day of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field.

Price became the seventh collegian to punch her ticket to Rio as part of Team USA and Winkler put himself in position to join them after winning the U.S. title, but narrowly missed the Olympic standard.

First up was Price, who was no stranger to success in Eugene, Oregon. After all, she won back-to-back NCAA hammer throw titles as a member of the Southern Illinois track & field team.

Price wasn’t content with just qualifying for the finals, she wanted to leave her mark. The Saluki did just that as she launched two throws farther than 71 meters and took the lead after three rounds.

After fouling on her fourth attempt, Price unleashed a massive throw on her fifth. Price hurled the implement 73.09m (239-9) to take over first place once again and set the all-dates collegiate record in the process.

When all was said and done, Price joined Amber Campbell and Gwen Berry on the podium and was the only woman in the field with four throws of 71 meters or farther.

Later in the evening, Winkler wasn’t the leader from the onset. The rising Cornell senior entered the final seeded fourth after a qualifying heave of 72.41m (237-6).

It didn’t take long after that for Winkler to assert himself and cement his spot atop the podium.

Winkler’s fifth throw sailed 76.76m (251-10) and took over the lead by 5½ feet. It was a massive PR for him (previously 75.10m) and left him as the 10th best all-dates performer in collegiate history.

Want proof of how history is nothing but a big circle? Winkler is the first collegian since 1956 to win the U.S. title in an Olympic year. The last collegian to do so was Albert Hall, who also went to Cornell.

Despite winning, Winkler must wait for an IAAF ruling on July 11 in order to compete in Rio. The Olympic standard is 77.00m and right now there are only 16 men with it. Winkler is currently 19th on the IAAF list and the organization likes to have a "target number" of 32 athletes in field events.