Two weeks ago, Tomara Carmichael’s discus PR was 106-5. Not bad for a sophomore.
Now? She’s added more than 20 feet to that PR and finds herself a sectional champion, a state champion and the top Group 1 thrower at states in more than a decade.
The improbable story of Tomara Carmichael starts last spring. She threw 36-6 1/2 in the shot and 106-5 in the discus, making her the No. 1 freshman in South Jersey in the shot and No. 2 in the disc, behind Gabriel Harris-David of Timber Creek, who threw 114-8.
She even placed fifth at states in the shot, making her the first Palmyra girl to win a medal at the outdoor state meet since 2008, when Rejeana Marigna tripled the 100, 200 and 400.
This year, Carmichael won both throws at the BCSL Freedom meet and was top-three in both at the County Open. She extended her shot PR to 36-6 3/4 with a third at sectionals in the shot and PR’d at 119-5 for second at the Open.
But the big breakthrough came this past weekend at Egg Harbor, when she added another eight feet to her discus PR, hurling the platter 127-9 to win the state Group 1 title. She was also second in the shot, giving Palmyra 18 team points.
Carmichael is the first Palmyra girl ever to win a field event at the state championships.
She missed the meet record of 134-4 — set in 1991 by Karen Schwartz of Mountain Lakes in 1991 — by less than seven feet. And she has two years to go.
Her winning throw of 127-9 is the best in the Group 1 state meet in 12 years, since another BCSL Freedom Division thrower, Rose Perry of Riverside, won with a throw of 128-8.
She’s the first sophomore to win the state Group 1 discus title in at least 20 years. Official results don’t list class before 1996.
Overall, Carmichael goes into the Meet of Champions Wednesday ranked No. 8 among all entries and tops among South Jersey throwers, two inches ahead of shot put state champion Ronetta Hunter of Burlington Township.