Setting a new personal best after a two-hour lightning delay at Myers Stadium, University of North Dakota, senior Molli Detloff earned First Team All-America honors at the NCAA Track and Field Championship on June 6, finishing sixth in the hammer throw with a mark of 222 feet, 11 inches (67.94m).
Detloff, who was the first All-American in the program’s Division I history in 2017, is the first student-athlete in the Division I era at UND to earn First-Team All-America honors. It is also the third All-America honor for the Elk River native, who also earned Second-Team All-America at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
“Big-time athletes do big-time things at big-time moments,” said assistant coach Drew Jones. “Molli knows what she has to do and today was a day where being a fifth-year senior helped out. There were a lot of young throwers in the field and shuttling back and forth across the football field three or four times takes a mental toll, but she knows the drill and she’s comfortable here.”
Initially set to begin at 4:30 p.m., lightning storms in the area resulted in a series of delays that pushed the start of the event back two hours, forcing athletes and spectators to take protective shelter.
Competing in the second flight of the night and in the eighth spot, Detloff opened her night with a season-best 217-feet, 7-inch throw (66.32m) that placed her fifth in the early goings. With the competition gaining its bearings, Detloff followed suit as well, popping off a personal best 222-feet, 11-inch (67.94m) throw to hold her place and turn the heat up on the rest of the field. Closing the preliminary round with a toss of 219-feet (66.75m), Detloff advanced to the finals in fifth, as one of four throwers in the top five that set new personal bests in the competition.
The night would close with five of the top six recording PRs as Ohio State’s Sade Olatoye hurled 227 feet, 7 inches (69.37m) on her fifth throw to move up to fourth and bump Detloff down to sixth.
“This was a deep championship field and Molli’s series of throws today were world class,” Jones added, “if you compared Molli’s series of throws with some of the Under-23 Europeans — she’s competing for a championship, but today’s field was one of the deepest I’ve seen. It took 220 feet to qualify for the finals today, so when you look back on what Molli did tonight, it’s incredible.”
California’s Camryn Rogers won the competition with a season collegiate-best 234-7 (71.50m)