2013 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships

Coastal Carolina alum Campbell’s string of indoor weight throw championships comes to end

dwetzel@thesunnews.comMarch 2, 2013 

Amber Campbell once again donned a medal around her neck at the conclusion of the weight throw finals in the 2013 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

However, something was different Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.

For the first time in the last seven years, the five-time Coastal Carolina All-American had to settle for runner-up in the weight throw.

“Amber is looking at a silver, which is unusual for her. It is usually gold,” Campbell’s coach, David Vandergriff, said via phone. “It has been for quite a few years [that she’s won it]. I said, ‘looks to me like it says motivation on it.’ I think she’s in pretty good spirits after taking second. It’ll be good motivation for outdoors.”

Indeed, considering Campbell’s focus this year has mainly been on the outdoor competition, the hammer throw. Vandergriff said the two-time Olympian has been training mostly in the latter in hopes of qualifying for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

Nonetheless, finishing second to Gwendolyn Berry – whose best toss was 81 feet, 1/2 inch on Saturday – ended a dominant six-year streak for Campbell, whose best throw was 77-81/4) on Saturday.

“We were actually kind of messing around the other day trying to see in a single event who had won six consecutive meets. It was hard to find,” Vandergriff said. “I don’t even think the Carl Lewises did that inside or outside.”

Campbell connected on four of her throws, with the best coming in her fourth attempt. Vandergriff said she was building momentum toward the end of the competition, which allows for six attempts.

“It’s like Vince Lombardi always said: You never lost a game; you just ran out of time. I said to her, ‘you just ran out of throws because you were building on her,” Vandergriff said. “I was very happy with her performance. She was performing well. Her ball delivery was great. She just barely missed the delivery on some throws but had tremendous ball speed.”

Campbell still holds the meet record with a throw of 81-31/4 in 2012. The Myrtle Beach resident is also the reigning national champion in the outdoor meet.

Campbell will next compete in the CCU/Shamrock Invitational, Coastal Carolina’s home meet that runs March 14-16. It will be part of her preparation for the national championships (June 20-23 in Des Moines, Iowa) and, of course, the world championships (Aug. 10-18).

“We really want to get into the Moscow worlds and really make some noise,” Vandergriff said.

Contact DAVID WETZEL at 626-0295.

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