EUGENE, Ore. – Danniel Thomas said there’s “nothing that can describe the feeling” when she broke the Jamaica record to win the NCAA Division I women’s shot put title last week (June 8).
Thomas, representing Kent State, captured the title in historic fashion Thursday night, throwing a career-best 19.15m (62′ 10″).
Thomas, the now nine-time All-American, dominated the competition Thursday to capture the feat she’d been chasing since arriving at Kent State in 2012. With the victory, she becomes the first female national champion in the history of Kent State Athletics and fifth national champion for Kent State outdoor track & field.
“Words cannot explain it. You know that moment when the hard work finally pays off, there’s nothing that can describe that feeling,” said Thomas after the competition.
Thomas ousted her previous career-best mark of 18.49m (60′ 8″) three times on her way to a national championship. She threw 62′ 2.25″ on her third attempt, followed by 61′ 9.5″ on her fifth attempt, and then sealed the championship on her final attempt with a mark of 62′ 10″. All six of her throws in the competition would have won her the national championship.
“Coming into the competition I was working on a lot of things but as I came in I just told myself to take everything out of my mind and be relaxed and let the technique work, and it paid off,” said Thomas.
Thomas’ top mark of 62′ 10″ is the second-best collegiate mark ever, an NCAA Outdoor Championship record, a Jamaican national record and a Kent State record.
“We’re extremely proud of Danniel. She was in complete control of the competition, and she just unleashed an unbelievable throw of 19.15 meters,” said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Bill Lawson. “It was one of the most impressive athletic performances I’ve seen in a really long time.”
Thomas’ time at the national championships did not end Thursday. She will compete for a championship in the discus on Saturday at 6:05 p.m.