A young Moscow Mills woman continues her efforts to land a place on the USA Olympic team
Southern Illinois senior thrower Deanna Price struck gold for the second straight season at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, claiming the NCAA hammer throw title with a meet record mark of 234 feet, 8 inches (71.53 meter) inside Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
She led from start to finish, opening with a throw of 223-6 (68.13 meter). She fouled on her second attempt. She rebounded in a big way on her next attempt, breaking her own meet record to notch her 18th throw this season of 230-feet or more with a toss of 234-8” inches (71.53 meter).
“First throw you always get in the circle and take it nice and easy,” said Price. “Just get one in there and make the final. Sometimes athletes forget that. So I got my first throw in around 68 meter. When I fouled on my second one, I became irritated at myself and I became more focused and determined.”
In the finals, Price again surpassed 230-feet, throwing 231-6 (70.57 meter) on her fourth throw but was unable to improve upon her meet record.
The four-time All-American is just the fifth woman in NCAA history to win back-to-back hammer throw championships and is the first to accomplish the feat since Jenny Dahlgren of Georgia in 2007.
Price also becomes the fourth woman in MVC history to win multiple NCAA outdoor titles, and the third to do so in back-to-back seasons in the same event.
Earlier this spring just prior to the Missouri Valley Conference meet, she injured her back.
“I was in extreme pain, couldn’t lift a gallon of milk without excruciating plan,” she said. “I went to a doctor who discovered two bulging disks and three compressed ones. I was afraid my dreams would be crushed. I was still throwing and winning but my distance of 67 meters to 69 meters I knew wouldn’t get me to my goal.”
Price was placed on medication which helped, but didn’t completely take away the pain. Trying to find the right solution, her parents, Dan and Ann Price, purchased an inversion table.
“I immediately began to use it twice a day and sometimes more if the plan persisted,” she said adding it has made all the difference. She didn’t take any chances. She had it shipped out to Eugene so she could use it to prepare at the NCAA meet.
Price will now set her sights on the U.S. Olympic Trials, also in Eugene, Ore. They will be held June 30 through July 10
There are no days off for Price as she prepares to try and earn a spot on the 2016 U.S. Women’s team for the Olympic Games in Brazil. She said she will be lifting and extending her workouts. She doesn’t plan on relaxing until much later this summer.
“I know I have it in me,” said Price of making the Olympic team. “I have the ability. Its hard though. There are a lot of girls who can throw far in the United States. But I want to make this team. I’m not going to stop to breathe or take a break until after the Olympic trials. I’m going to keep fighting and keep pushing and doing my job, and try my hardest to make the team.”
Price’s collegiate American record throw of 238-5 inches (72.66 meters) currently ranks third in the nation. She wants to be one of the three women picked.
She is a graduate of Troy Buchanan High School and earned her degree in accounting at SIU-Carbondale.
Some information in this article courtesy of Will Becque, SIU-Carbondale. Athletics.