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Sardis Alumni Rowan Hamilton One Step Closer to Paris Olympics

Sardis (Sardis Secondary/NCAA/University of California Berkley/AP/CBC) – Rowan Hamilton is aware of the need to be in championship form with the Paris Olympics in two months and he didn’t disappoint Wednesday night.

A native of Chilliwack, he threw a personal-best 77.18 metres for the University of California to win the men’s hammer throw at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore.

Hamilton had previously captured three national collegiate titles while representing the University of British Columbia, where he delivered the 27 longest throws in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) history.

The graduate transfer is Cal’s first individual men’s NCAA track and field champion in 13 years and its first hammer throw winner since John Merchant in 1922.
“My mind is definitely focused on the competition this summer, obviously in Paris,” the 24-year-old told this week. “I think [the NCAA championships] is an excellent way to prepare for that. You have to come out and perform, just like you’ll have to do [in August] at the Olympics.”

At Hayward Field, Hamilton overtook defending champion and Harvard junior Kenneth Ikeji (77.12) in the third round. His toss measured two centimetres longer than his previous best and is eighth on the all-time collegiate list but fell 1.2m shy of the automatic entry standard for Paris.

Still, Hamilton occupies the 21st spot among the 32 for Olympic selection on world rankings points.
Nine have achieved standard including Ethan Katzberg of Nanaimo, B.C., the Canadian record holder who tops Olympic qualifying with a world-leading throw of 84.38. Adam Keenan of Victoria is 15th in the world rankings quota, with each country allowed a maximum of three athletes per gender from each Olympic event for selection.

“For so long, I’ve wanted to become an Olympian, even if I wasn’t sure in what sport,” Hamilton told the Vancouver Province newspaper recently. “I played soccer and basketball as a kid before track and I always told my parents, I just want to go to the Olympics. “Now, to see it becoming a possibility for me, it’s just such an exciting point in my life to see that dream becoming more realistic.”

Rowan Hamilton/U of Cal Berkley/AFP/Getty/Sardis Secondary/June 2024

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