What an achievement for Curtis Thompson!!!
In his first meet in nearly a year, the Florence High graduate — finally healthy again — won the javelin Saturday at the USATC Championships in Boise!!!
It’s the first national title for Thompson, who in 2016 was the NCAA champion for Mississippi State and placed a close second in the Olympic Trials, setting the meet record before missing out on a trip to the Olympics because some archaic qualifying rules.
Thompson threw 249-3, beating second-place Capers Williamson by 11 inches.
Thompson opened with a 244-7, which led all throwers after the first round, then improved to 248-7 on his second throw, which continued to lead the pack. He finished the trials with a 236-2.
In the finals, he improved to 249-3 on his first attempt — his best throw in two years, since he threw 260-1 on July 15, 2016, at the NCACAC Under-23 Championships to close out the 2016 season in San Salvadore, El Salvadore.
He closed out with 233-5 and 231-10 but on this day that was enough.
Thompson moved into the No. 3 spot on the 2018 U.S. list behind Michael Shuey (257-7) and Aaron True (254-2), who placed fourth and sixth Saturday.
Thompson became the second South Jersey native to win the national javelin title. In 1990, Holy Cross graduate Vince Labosky of Tabernacle Township threw 261-3 to win the national title with the old implement.
Other New Jersey natives who’ve won the national javelin title are Mark Murro of Essex Catholic (284-3 in 1969), Bob Roggy of Holmdel (289-9 in 1982) and Bobby Smith of Monmouth Regional in 2008 (249-6).
This was Thompson’s first meet since he competed in a low-key meet in Chula Vista, Calif., on July 21, 2017. After throwing 271-11 at the 2016 Trials and ranking No. 2 among U.S. men in 2016, his best throw in 11 meets in 2017 was 249-2.
Thompson, the No. 16 thrower in U.S. history, won the 2016 NCAA title for Mississippi State but red-shirted this past year.
Another South Jersey product, veteran thrower Tim VanLiew of Deptford High School, threw 236-4 for fifth place.