GVSU - Thornton Finishes 10th in Hammer Throw at U.S. Olympic Team Trials

GVSU - Thornton Finishes 10th in Hammer Throw at U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Provided by GVSU

Nine-time All-American and Grand Valley State alumni Darien Thornton placed 10th in the hammer throw event at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore. on Wednesday evening (July 6). The recent NCAA Division II Outdoor National Champion in the same event, Thornton finished one spot out of qualifying for Wednesday night's finals.

Thornton came in 10th place in the 24-athlete field that appeared in the qualifying round at 5:00 p.m. PDT (8:00 p.m. ET). The top-nine qualifiers advanced to the finals at 7:00 p.m. PDT (10:00 p.m. ET), with Thornton ending up as the first thrower outside of that advancing group.

His first hammer throw at historic Hayward Field of 68.49m (224'8") ended up being his best toss of the evening. Minnesota's Sean Donnelly posted a throw of 68.96m (226'3") to earn the ninth and last spot, while advancing to the finals.

Thornton qualified for the Olympic Team Trials with a throw of 73.26m in mid-June at the Ashland University Summer Series. With that toss, he entered Wednesday's event ranked eighth in the United States and finished 10th-best in the hammer throw in the entire country.

The most recent individual national champion at GVSU, Thornton won the 2016 Division II Outdoor National Championship in late May in Bradenton, Fla. He was the 2016 Midwest Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year and recorded the fifth-farthest throw in Division II history earlier in the outdoor season.

The 2016 Olympic Games are from August 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.