Thompson, VanLiew advance in Olympic Trials javelin, Mirabelli just misses

VFJAIVANBAJAKMN.20160326000324A trio of South Jersey javelin throwers descended on the U.S. Olympic Trials, and two of the three — Curtis Thompson of Florence and Tim VanLiew of Deptford — advanced to the 12-man final scheduled for Monday.

Chris Mirabelli of Holy Cross came close and finished 14th overall, giving South Jersey three of the top 14 American javelin throwers.

Vince Labosky would be proud!

Labosky, a Holy Cross graduate, was the 1990 U.S. javelin champion.

Thompson, the NCAA champion for Mississippi State, threw 249-10, 244-10 and 247-3 in Saturday’s first round  and was the only entrant with three throws over 240 feet.

VanLiew, the two-time NCAA Division 3 champ and D-3 record holder for Rutgers-Camden, threw 221-5, 231-10 and 237-6, with the 237-6 winding up eighth-best among qualifiers.

Riley Dolezal led all qualifiers at 251-7, and Sean Furey was also over 250 feet at 250-2.

Mirabelli, the Big 10 champion, threw 224-4 on his first attempt but fouled on his next two throws. The cutoff was 227-2, so he was less than three feet from joining Thompson and VanLiew in the finals.

Thompson and Mirabelli have been rivals since sophomore year of high school, and they threw consecutively with the first flight on Saturday. VanLiew was more of a soccer player in high school and college. He was an All-America goalie for Rutgers-Camden before resurrecting his javelin career.

Mirabelli’s PR is 240-3, Thompson’s is 265-10 and VanLiew’s is 247-10.

The javelin championship is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. Monday back at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Here’s a look at the top performers – not performances – in U.S. Olympic Trials history, since the inception of the new implement in 1988:

270-  3 … Breaux Greer, 2004 [1]
268-  7 … Sam Humphreys, 2012 [1]
268-  6 … Todd Riech, 1996 [1]
267-  8 … Tom Pukstys, 1996 [2]
265-  1 … Sam Crouser, 2012 [2]
263-  4 … Tim Glover, 2012 [q]
262-  2 … Craig Kinsley, 2012 [3]
261-10 … Brian Chaput, 2004 [2]
261-  4 … Dave Stephens, 1988 [1]
260-  8 … Brian Crouser, 1988 [2]
260-  8 … Tom Petranoff, 1988 [3]
255-10 … Barry Krammes, 2012 [q]
255-  7 … Mike Barnett, 1988 [4]
255-  5 … Sean Furey, 2012 [4]
254-  8 … Cyrus Hostetler, 2012 [5]
253-  4 … Roald Bradstock, 1996 [5]
253-  0 … Sean Keller, 2012 [q]
251-  7 … Riley Dolezal, 2016 [q]
251-  6 … Ed Kaminski, 1996 [q]

Since Thompson has the best throw in meet history below 250 feet, he is currently sitting in the No. 20 spot on the all-time U.S. Olympic Trials javelin performers list.

Thompson is ranked 45th on the IAAF World List and is No. 2 American this year behind Cyrus Hosteler, who threw 275-0 in a meet in Tucson in May but only threw 243-8 on Saturday.

Here are the season bests and career bests of the 12 finalists

Cyrus Hostetler          275-0 / 275-0
Curtis Thompson       265-10 / 265-10
Riley Dolezal               263-10 / 273-11
Timothy VanLiew      261-3 / 261-3
Sam Humphreys        258-5 / 272-9
Christopher Carper   254-3 / 256-2
Sean Furey                  250-2 / 272-6
Robert Robbins          247- 9 / 248-11
Sam Crouser               244-0 / 273-4
Carson Fuller              240-11 / 240-11
Damien Odle               240-8 / 240-8
Capers Williamson    239-4 / 239-4

Important to remember that no matter what happens in the final, the U.S. athletes must meet the Olympic standard of 272-4 by July 11 to make it to Rio.

If an athlete finishes in the top three and isn’t able to nail the Olympic standard by July 11 — which is very soon — he would be replaced by the next highest-placing athlete who does have the standard.

Since Hosteler, Crouser and Furey all met the standard during the current qualifying period — which opened June 1 of last year – if no new athletes reach the standard on Monday, Hosteler, Crouser and Furey will comprise the U.S. contingent headed to the Olympics, no matter how they throw in the championship round.

If an athlete (or athletes) who hasn’t yet met the standard does throw 272-4 or better, then the top three finishers Monday with the standard go to Rio.

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