Daily Egyptian

Thrower making up for lost time

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

After competing only twice in eight months, SIU’s defending national champion for hammer throw is back to full-time competition.

Senior thrower DeAnna Price on Thursday opened the outdoor season just shy of a personal record with a throw of 72.19 meters. 

Price, who finished last indoor season as the Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA Champion in the hammer throw, didn’t have eligibility remaining for indoor this season. She trained with the team and competed as an unattached athlete in both home meets. 

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“I wasn’t feeling great and I have a lot more left in the tank,” she said. “[Mississippi throws] coach John [Smith] and [SIU throws] coach [J.C.] Lambert were both there and they were both sitting there saying, ‘You had 75-meter potential.’ Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll find the big bang.”

Her best, 72.30 meters, came last season in a second-place finish in June at the USA Track and Field Championships.

She then finished in 18th place at the IAAF World Championships.

The former Pan American participant recorded weight throws of 21.66 meters and 21.67 meters at the Saluki Fast Start and Don DeNoon Invitational.

She said it was hard to practice but not compete regularly, so she had to change her mindset.

“You can’t take it easy, and if I ever was, coach Lambert would be like, ‘You know what you’re doing this for, you’re doing this for 2016,'” she said. “I want to go out with a bang and be consistent, so this is where it starts.”

Sophomore thrower Freya Block said Price was like a cheerleader during the indoor season and is great at keeping people’s spirits up.

“She has always been a really great teammate and she’s willing to help with whatever you need,” she said.

Price said she worked mostly on her spins while throwing the hammer indoors. Although hammer throw is not an indoor event, Price said she worked on it by throwing into a net.

The Moscow Mills, Mo., native said while they’re not the same event, she can tell how she’ll do in the hammer by how she does in the weight throw. Price said if she throws 71 feet in the weight, she’ll throw about 71 meters in the hammer.

Price’s best weight throw was 71 feet, 1.25 inches at the Don DeNoon Invitational. She started the outdoor season at 72.19 meters.

The senior said she and Lambert set a series of shorter goals to reach her ultimate target of throwing for more than 74 meters this season.

Lambert said setting smaller goals is important in keeping sights on the final objective.

“If you’re striving toward that one big goal all the time, you get frustrated cause there are hard times,” he said. “Then you don’t realize the good you’ve done.”

One of Price’s accomplishments include breaking the SIU all-time hammer throw record — 72.51 meters — and then the NCAA record of 72.94 meters.

Block, who is ninth all-time at SIU with a hammer throw distance of 59.44 meters, said she has always looked up to Price, but doesn’t know if it’s really a competition between the two.

“Right now, I don’t see her as competition because she’s on a whole other level,” she said. “She’s one hell of an athlete.”

Price and the Dawgs have their lone home meet, the Bill Cornell Spring Classic, beginning Friday at the Lew Herzog Track and Field Complex.

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3333

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