2016-17 Field Man of the Year

When I wrote up last year’s Field Men of the Year award, I concluded Rudy Winkler‘s section with the following paragraph:

“But [he] may still have some work to do. For example, there is still [Conor] McCullough’s indoor weight throw mark of 76-01, and Winkler is only about 14 inches away from that. Also, there is a NCAA national title. At the rate he’s progressing, it would be a surprise if he doesn’t win it next June.”

Well, the Cornell thrower accomplished both feats before his graduation in June 2016.

Winkler finally broke some of McCullough’s indoor weight throw marks in February 2017; first with the overall conference mark to 76-06 1/4/23.32m at the Sykes & Sabock Cup in February, and then later in the month with the Indoor Heps championship mark of 75-07/23.05m to win his third consecutive weight throw title.

A few months later, Winkler became the first Heps man since 1962 to win a national title in the hammer throw with a mighty toss of 243-02.  He shared with Ariel Sax of RunBlogRun.com that “This was the first meet where I felt really comfortable and I was able to throw the way I wanted to throw,” since he had been overcoming a back injury for most of the outdoor season.

Winkler earned many other accolades in 2017 including:

  • Indoor Heps MVP for field events for breaking the weight throw championship record
  • USTFCCCA Northeast Field Man of the Year for both the indoor and outdoor seasons
  • All-American honors in the weight throw for a 4th place finish (73-02/22.30m)
  • Three-time Indoor Heps champion in the weight throw
  • Three-time Outdoor Heps champion in the hammer throw
  • Finished fourth at the USATF National Championships with a best throw of 234-05/71.43m
  • Team USA member for the IAAF World Championships in London, where he finished 31st overall in windy, rainy conditions
  • USTFCCCA Academic All-American

We will get the chance to see if Winkler can defend his NCAA title in 2018 as he will be using his final season of eligibility at Rutgers while he gets his master’s degree.

Honorable Mention:

  • Cornell’s Austin Jamerson broke a 13-year conference record at Indoor Heps as he defended his heptathlon title with 5,756 points, breaking Dartmouth’s Mustafa Abdur-Rahim’s record of 5,645 points.  The score qualified Jamerson for the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he finished 13th overall with 5,509 points.
  • Harvard’s Efe Uwaifo swept the long jump and triple jump titles at Outdoor Heps with marks of 25-09 1/4w/7.85m and 53-01/16.18m, respectively.  The conference also awarded him the Outdoor Heps MVP for field events.  Uwaifo also earned Second-Team All-American honors in the outdoor triple jump with a 15th place finish (51-04 1/4w) in cool, windy, rainy conditions.  Uwaifo also won his third consecutive triple jump title at Indoor Heps with a mark of 51-11.

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