DES MOINES, Iowa – University of North Dakota junior thrower Molli Detloff put the finishing touches on a superlative season on Saturday by finishing in 10th place at the 2018 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium.
Detloff, one of 18 throwers competing in the event, hit a high mark of 208 feet, 5 inches (63.53 meters) on her first throw. She followed with a throw of 205-04 (62.58m) on her second attempt before fouling out on her third throw. Deanna Price won the event with the best hammer throw in the world this season, breaking the American record with her top mark of 256-03 (78.12).
“I thought she competed well,” said UND Assistant Coach Drew Jones, who coaches the program’s throwers. “The American record was set today so for her to be there and be a part of that kind of environment was huge for her development and it lets her know she belongs in that environment.”
Detloff was UND’s first student-athlete in the DI era to compete in the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships and the first female ever to represent the school at the championship, regardless of Division. Jones said Detloff had several encouraging throws during her warmup routine, setting her up for a strong performance during the competition.
“She’s not necessarily peaking right now because we haven’t been training specifically for this meet, so those warmup throws brought her confidence around,” said Jones. “She had a tough time the last time she was at this venue, so just being in there and seeing those throws go far was huge for her to get her confidence and swagger back and reinforce that she’s supposed to be there.”
A native of Elk River, Minn., Detloff earned her second straight Big Sky Conference Outdoor MVP honor earlier this year and qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary in both the hammer and discus.
In May, Detloff received UND’s Grace Rhonemus Female Athlete of the Year Award, the first student-athlete from the track and field program to win that award since Lindsay Anderson in 2010-11.
“She got in there and had a good day today,” said Jones. “That was the fourth or fifth best performance of her entire career. I wanted her to compete well and enjoy herself and we accomplished both of those things.”