We have been fortunate to have young sports journalists like Jasmyne Tomas writing for RunBlogRun this season. Jasymne is part of the SOJC Track Bureau, championed by Lori Shontz, Professor of Journalism at the University of Oregon. This piece is on the Women’s shot put. Nicely done, Jasmyne.
By Jasmyne Tomas
SOJC Track Bureau
With a very festive red, white and blue make-up look, shot putter Chase Ealey returned to Hayward Field on Sunday at the USATF outdoor championships for a chance at redemption after not making the Olympic team last year.
Due to a case of long COVID-19, Ealey struggled both physically and mentally in her 2020-2021 season, resulting in a fifth-place finish at the Olympic trials last summer.
“I feel like since COVID I’ve been in a lull,” said Ealey. “I think this year I’ve finally kind of proven to myself that I can do this, and I kind of feel like I’m back is the feeling I’m getting.”
This season has been strong for Ealey. In her past three meets, she’s thrown personal bests. That momentum carried into this weekend where she won the U.S. title on her second throw with a distance of 67 feet, 3 1/2 inches/20.50 meters, which was not only another personal best but a meet record, a Hayward Field record, and the longest throw in the world this season.
Adelaide Aquilla of Ohio State came in second with a throw of 63-9 3/4, over three feet behind Ealey. In third was Jessica Woodward, with a throw of 63-7 3/4.
Each of the women achieved the world standard before coming into the weekend, so Hayward Field will see them again in July for the World Athletics Championships.
This year Ealey had a change in scenery for training. After traveling to the UK in January to train with British shot putter Sophie McKinna, she discovered that she worked well with her.
On her trip, Ealey met Paul Wilson, head coach of throws at the City of York Athletic Club; during a training session, Wilson gave her feedback on her technique, which must have made an impact on her because she made the more permanent decision to continue to train in the UK with Wilson as her coach and McKinna as her training partner.
“I feel like I kind of left the bad energy, which was all inside me, and I kind of got to reset with some really great people,” said Ealey.
Ealey’s throw is also the second farthest throw by an American in the event, right behind that of Michelle Carter’s distance of 67-8, which was set at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
For Carter this was her last U.S. nationals and last meet, after a 25-year career, she is retiring. Carter made history as the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the event. She finished eighth Sunday in her final competition.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen next without throwing a shot put every day, but I’m excited to find out what will happen,” said Carter in an interview with NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.
What is next for Carter on the agenda is investing in the next generation of female athletes. Carter organized a camp called “You Throw Girl Sports Confidence Camp,” which takes place in early August for female athletes in the 8th-12th grade of any sport.