ISU's Reese finishes runner-up in NCAA hammer throw

Indiana State’s Erin Reese knows a thing or two about how to build a crescendo.

Reese, who was competing in the hammer throw, at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Texas, set a personal best distance in the event on her third throw of six throws in the event.

Then she did it again. And again. And again.

Reese set four personal-bests, and thus, four school records as she was the only competitor in the nationals to improve her distance with each of her throws. By the time her flurry was over? Reese was the national runner-up in the event, coming just shy of champion Camyrn Rogers of California.

Reese’s final throw cleared 71.06 meters. Rogers’ winning throw, cleared on her fourth attempt, was 71.50 meters. In imperial units, Reese finished just 1 foot, 5 inches behind Rogers, a small margin in the hammer.

Entering the competition, Reese — who was the national champion in the indoor weight throw — had a personal-best of 65.31 meters during the MVC Championships in May at Gibson Track and Field Complex.

After a default on her first throw and a distance of 59.64 on her second throw, Reese began her surge. Her third throw traveled 68.36 meters and vaulted her from 18th to fourth place in the competition.

Her fourth throw was 69.65 meters and improved her position to third place. Her fifth throw was the first 70-plus-meter throw in school history at 70.46 meters and it lifted Reese to second place.

Reese came ever-so-close to Rogers with her final throw. Rogers and Reese were the only competitors in the field to clear 70-plus meters.

Reese became ISU’s first women’s All-American in outdoor track and field since Alethia Marrero and Katie Wise both earned the honors in 2015. 

Reese’s performance is ISU’s all-time best finish in the hammer throw, topping Jenny Folz’s 11th-place finish in 1999. Felisha Johnson was ISU’s last All-American in the hammer in 2013.

Reese still has one more event — discus — to compete in at the NCAA Championships. The discus takes place Saturday.

ISU’s other NCAA competitor — Cassaundra Roper — also competed Thursday in the shot put. Roper finished 16th with a distance of 16.17 meters. That was good enough for Roper to be a Second Team All-American.