Michael Scott Photo
On most days, Dartmouth graduate Sean Furey serves as a Senior Mechanical Design Engineer for the Raytheon Company in San Diego. But after Sunday’s performance in the javelin throw in Sacramento, Calif., Furey is also now sports a new title — two-time U.S. national champion.
Sitting in fifth place after four rounds, the 31-year-old let loose a rocket. His spear landed 81.10 meters (266-1) from its starting point, vaulting Furey past four throwers, including Brown graduate Craig Kinsley, into first. No one was able to match his effort. Kinsley — who threw 77.26 meters (253-6) in the first round — was fifth.
While Furey returning to the top of the podium for the first time since 2010 was exciting, so was the return of Princeton graduate Donn Cabral. The 2012 Olympic finalist struggled in 2013, shutting down his season after Nationals to fully recover from Lyme disease. Well, the recovery seems complete.
After taking a year off from his specialty, he seemed content with his qualifying performance. But he likely exceeded his own expectations on Sunday, keeping with the leaders during a fast-paced final and taking third behind American record holder Evan Jager and two-time Worlds participant Dan Huling. In fact, Cabral’s time of 8:20.04 was less than a second off his personal best, set in May 2012.
But while we celebrated Cabral’s return to the spotlight, we are left sharing agony for Cornell graduate Morgan Uceny. In 2011 she became the world’s top 1,500m runner with a sensational Diamond League season, but was felled at the World Championships in South Korea when a runner fell at her feet. The following year, she was in perfect medal position at the bell in the London Olympics, but was tripped up from behind and unable to finish.
That devastating event took a long time to shake, but it appeared that Uceny was back to form as many experts felt that she and teen sensation Mary Cain would be battling for silver behind Jenny Simpson in Sunday’s final. And it seemed to be a likely scenario midway through the race as both runners were up front with Simpson. But, in a cruel twist, Uceny got tangled with Cory McGee, who’d gotten too close from behind. And again, Uceny fell to the track, ending her chance of contending. She did get up to finish in 4:24.01. Yale grad Kate Grace struggled late in the race — as the on-track temperatures reached 120 degrees — to finish in 4:18.97.