Olympic Trials Hammer Day

Saving their best for last, the trio of Amber Campbell (Indianapolis), Gwen Berry (St. Louis, Missouri) and DeAnna Price (Moscow Mills, Missouri) utilized their last two rounds of throws to qualify for Team

USA in the women’s hammer throw on Wednesday at Hayward Field.

Campbell made her third Olympic Team, while Berry and Price recorded season and personal bests, respectively, en route to becoming first-time Olympians.

Campbell throws meet record twice to make third Olympic Team

It was a back-and-forth affair between the top trio and 2012 Olympian, American record holder Amanda Bingson (Las Vegas, Nevada). The Olympic Trials record of 71.80m/235-6 set in 2012 by Campbell became a target in the final three rounds and was bettered four times.

Price established the early lead with a 71.66m/235-1 in the opening round. Campbell claimed the lead and broke her own meet record with a 72.02m/236-6 in round four. Then Berry hit a mark of 72.04m/236-4 in the fifth stanza to grab the lead and meet record. It was quickly overtaken by Price on the very next throw as she reached a distance of 73.09m/239-9, a new personal best.

In the sixth round Bingson improved to 70.30m/230-8, but was unable to break into the top three positions. Campbell, meanwhile, went into the lead once more with an impressive throw of 74.03m/242-10, which now serves as the American leader for 2016. Berry responded with a 73.09m/239-9 that matched Price’s best effort and was a season’s best toss for Berry. A better second mark of 72.04m/236-4 pushed Berry into second place.

Winkler a surprise winner after NCAA runner-up finish

Cornell’s Rudy Winkler (Sand Lake, New York), the 2016 NCAA runner-up, surprised the field with a fourth round 76.76m/251-10 to move from fourth to first place. Kibwe Johnson (Suwanee, Georgia), the defending Olympic Trials champion who placed ninth in London Olympics, finished second with a toss of 75.11m/246-5. Claiming the third position was Conor McCullough (Canoga Park, California) with a 74.16m/243-4.

Three-time Olympian A.G. Kruger (Sheldon, Iowa) finished fourth at 73.31m/240-6, and was the U.S. leader with a 75.32m/247-1 coming into the Olympic Trials. Johnson, meanwhile, has the top American mark in the Olympic Games qualifying window with a 76.95m/252-5.

Amber Campbell and Rudy Winkler won the women's and men's hammer throw competitions on Wednesday at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene.

On a light day of competition at the trials, the hammer throw took center stage, moving inside Hayward Field for the first time.

Former Oregon Ducks throwers Britney Henry and Greg Skipper were among the contenders, but neither qualified for their respective final. Henry finished 10th, and Skipper was 12th. Former Portland State thrower Caressa Sims finished 18th in the women's competition.

Campbell uncorked her winning throw of 242 feet, 10 inches on her final throw. Joining Campbell on Team USA for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics will be Gwen Berry, who finished second, and DeAnna Price, who took third. Berry and Price each threw 239-9.

Winkler won the men's hammer, but no U.S. throwers automatically qualified for Rio because none of them have achieved the Olympic standard of 252 feet, 7 inches. Winkler's winning throw Wednesday fell less than a foot shy of that mark, at 251-10. Kibwe Johnson (246-5) was second, and Conor McCullough (243-4) took third. The International Association of Athletics Federations could invite up to three U.S. hammer throwers to Rio, but the men will have to wait to learn whether they'll get the chance to compete at next month's Olympics.