Triple Threat: Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen Leaves Her Mark

Whenever Arizona State standout Maggie Ewen steps into the cage or into the ring at a meet, Brian Blutreich’s concept of “zero” governs the day.

Simply put: It doesn’t matter what happened before. Everybody – even a collegiate record holder – starts at the same place. They all have zero marks with equal chances of winning.

Ewen could – and has, according to Blutreich – hit distances in practice that would make a howitzer blush, but if she can’t consistently do that in a meet, she won’t break records, win NCAA titles – or eventually, capture medals on the world stage.

Consistency in throwing comes down to rhythm and timing. Everything must be in sync for success to follow – yet even then, nothing is promised. Many throwers only have one discipline on which to focus, Ewen must be locked in three ways from Sunday (discus, hammer, shot).

“It’s not like you run the 5K and the 10K. It’s just longer. You’re still running around the track the same way, just at different paces with different strategies and stuff like that. I mean, I get it,’” Blutreich said. “But you’re talking about three completely different disciplines that have three completely different techniques, which have three complete different rhythms, which have three completely different timings. Usually all three are never really good at the same time.”

Then again, very few people were as locked in as Ewen this past weekend. The senior from St. Francis, Minnesota, reached legendary status at the Sun Angel Classic.

Ewen opened competition on Friday in the hammer and posted three marks that were superior to the collegiate record she set last year at the NCAA Championships. Her fifth attempt sailed 74.53m (244-6), which dwarfed her best in-season effort of 73.32m (240-6) just 10 months ago.

A little more than 24 hours later, Ewen returned for the discus and shot put. Ewen notched the nation’s best mark in the discus of 61.27m (201-0) and moved into sole possession of the No. 2 spot on the all-time collegiate outdoor chart in the shot put behind Raven Saunders. It was the second attempt where Ewen hurled the 8.8-pound orb 19.22m (63-0¾).

“I see it in training so it’s not as crazy to me, but after the meet was over, I sat down and I was drinking a Diet Coke by myself and I was like, ‘Oh, my god. What the heck did she just do,’” Blutreich said. “It’s just kind of like stuff that has never been done before.

“That’s the greatest throwing achievement, in my opinion, ever in a one-meet situation in three events. It’s unheard of. You wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it.”

History At The Sun Angel Classic

Attempt 1
Attempt 2
Attempt 3
Attempt 4
Attempt 5
Attempt 6
Shot Put
Key: * indicates mark on all-time collegiate outdoor chart

Ewen is the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 7 performer on the current IAAF World Leader Performance List in the hammer, shot put and discus, respectively. All with marks she achieved at the Sun Angel Classic, which served as the final time she’d compete in an Arizona State uniform inside Sun Angel Stadium.

Here’s the crazy part: The season is still young. Ewen has at least five more chances to cement or better her standing on both the all-time collegiate chart and the world list in those events.

Blutreich relishes the opportunity to keep working with Ewen, who was a finalist for The Bowerman in 2017. This might only be their second year together, but he can see tremendous room for improvement.

“There is still so much left in the tank, which is crazy, because she’s done so much that people would kill to have a career in what she just did in one event, let alone three,” Blutreich said. “To sit there and say she’s done all of those great things with still so much left blows my mind.

“She has the work ethic and has what it takes to get there. It’s fun for me. It’s also stressful for me. When you have a kid with that much talent, you don’t want to screw it up. It puts that much more pressure on me to give her what she needs to do to become successful. I have to be on my best game to get her to where she needs to go. I know she’ll be on hers.”