NATIONAL CHAMPION: Simmons repeats as hammer champion

Saturday, May 27, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

GENEVA, Ohio – Whitney Simmons won her second straight NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Hammer Throw National Championship and broke her own national record with a mark of 64.03 meters on the final throw of her collegiate career on Saturday at the SPIRE Institute.

A senior from White Oak, Simmons opened the competition with a throw of 63.75 meters on her first attempt to break the national record that she established earlier this season. That throw would have stood up as the national championship throw until her sixth and final throw went 64.03 to put an exclamation point on the competition and her historic career that includes winning the 2016 and 2017 NCAA DIII Hammer National Championship and the 2017 NCAA DIII Indoor Weight Throw title. She is now a seven-time NCAA DIII All-America.

"I set up the winds, and let the rest happen," Simmons said. "And a 64 came out of it. 64 meters. That was the number I've had in my head for weeks now and I hit it. It was the most amazing feeling, and the best moment of my life to date. All of my hard work. Everything from the last four years was for that final mark, and I couldn't be more overwhelmed with pride and gratefulness."

The record throw of 64.03 (210-01 feet) was followed by Emily Bassett who finished second in the competition with a distance of 58.53 meters for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Oneonta’s Meghan Serdock who finished third at 58.07 meters. Simmons, who had the national record coming into the meet at a distance of 63.08 meters from the University of Houston’s Tom Tellez Invitational, had the three best throws on Saturday and fouled on three more.  

“A national record on her last collegiate throw. Are you kidding me,” UT Tyler coach Chris Stonestreet said. “Four years were capped off in the most perfect and special way imaginable. When I saw 64 pop up on the board, I lost my mind. I’m just so proud of Whitney and so happy for her. She’s left a mark on our program that will last a very long time.”

Simmons is a four-time NCAA All-America in the hammer after winning the national championship in 2017 (64.03) and 2016 (59.13), finishing as the national runner-up in 2015 (56.86) and opening her career with a seventh-place finish (53.86) as a freshman in 2014. She won eight competitions during her senior outdoor season and is the only UT Tyler athlete to ever win multiple national titles. 

"I could never have accomplished what I have without Chris," Simmons said. "He turned a 119-foot discus thrower into a 7-time all-American, 3-time national champion, Division III national record holding hammer thrower. I'm his biggest fan, and I hope that everyone who reads our story realizes that none of this could have ever happened without him. How blessed am I to have landed in Tyler Texas, and to spend my college career with one of the best coaches in the country, with the support of him and my wonderfully awesome head coach Bob, and the entire university to back us all up. Thank you UT Tyler. Thank you coach."

SIMMONS HAMMER RECORDS

NCAA DIII CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

64.03 National Champion (2017)
59.13 National Champion (2016)
56.38 National Runner-up (2015)
53.86 All-America – 7th place (2014)


2017 TOP THROWS

64.03 (NCAA DIII National Championship - Geneva, Ohio)
63.08 (Tom Tellez Invitational – Houston, Texas)
62.78 (UWL Eagle Open – La Crosse, Wisconsin)
62.56 (East Texas Invitational – Commerce, Texas)
62.52 (Marc Randle Classic – Tyler, Texas)
61.35 (Southern Arkansas – Magnolia, Arkansas)
61.30 (SFA Carl Knight Invite – Nacogdoches, Texas)
60.27 (Texas Relays – Austin, Texas)
58.06 (ASC Championship – Abilene, Texas)