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Thomas ends NCAA career with Jamaica shot put record

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Danniel Thomas ended her NCAA career on a spectacular high on Thursday night at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, creating a massive upset by winning the women's shot put in a new Jamaican record 19.15m, the fourth-best throw in the world so far this year.

The 24-year-old former Frome Technical and Edwin Allen High standout and Olympian from last year had an outstanding evening, as any of her six throws could have won the competition because she only went under the 18.00m mark once, her first throw of 17.99m.

In the process, the Kent State senior smashed her two-month-old Jamaican record of 18.49m set in late April at a meet in Ohio, and recorded two of the best throws ever at the NCAA championships with only Raven Saunders' 19.33m, set last year, going farther.

Her winning throw in the final round was the second-best ever, and her third-round effort of 18.95m was also better than the previous second best of 18.91m set by Oklahoma's Tia Brooks, set also in Eugene in 2013.

The University of Louisville's Emmonnie Henderson was a distant second on Thursday with 17.92m Brittany Mann of Southern California was third with 17.49m while favourite and defending champion Saunders, who was fifth in the Olympic Games last year, was a disappointing fourth with just two legal throws, ending with 17.47m.

Thomas, a former shot put and discus throw champion at the JAAA National Senior Championships, threw farther than her previous Jamaican record three times on Thursday in her outstanding series of throws.

She started with 17.99m, good enough for the gold, then improved with 18.13m before erasing her previous best with 18.95m, and in the final three throws had marks of 18.39m, 18.83m and 19.15m.

The athlete, who also holds the indoor record set this year, had broken the 13 year-old record of 18.28m set in 2004 by Kimberly Barrett when she threw 18.49m to win the event at the Ashland University Alumni Open, Ohio in late April, decimating her previous best 18.13m set earlier this month in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

She broke the Indoor record twice this year with marks of 18.32m and 18.49m, beating Barrett's record of 18.19m set in 2005.