Egg Harbor Township grad James Plummer, now a senior at Grand View College in Iowa, won his second national title Friday, his first in the weight throw.
Harbor, who never threw the 35-pound weight in high school, had the six-best throws of the NAIA Championships, including the winning heave of 71-6 1/2 on his second attempt at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Fieldhouse on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, S.D.
Plummer’s 71-7 1/2 broke the meet record of 71-3 1/2 set last year by Erik Escobedo of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.
He also had throws of 66-10 1/4 and 71-4 1/2 in the trials and then threw 68-11, 67-10 1/2 and 69-11 in the finals.
Second-place finisher Jacob Cornelio of Concordia in Nebraska was second with a throw of 65-1 3/4.
Plummer has a PR of 72-0 3/4 in the weight throw, so he threw within six inches of that on Friday. The 72-0 3/4 came last month at the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championships at Doane University Fieldhouse in Crete, Nebraska. He was the top seed in the event by more than two feet.
Plummer’s shot put PR is 56-4 from the same meet. He’s the No. 6 seed in the shot put on Saturday. He won the 2018 NAIA discus title last spring with a throw of 177-2 at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Ala. He has a discus PR of 203-3 and a shot put PR of 57-11 1/4
Plummer, the 2013 National Scholastic high school champ in the discus, spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Clemson University and was a multiple ACC medalist before competing unattached in 2016 and 2017 and then resurfacing at Grand View, a small liberal arts school in Des Moines, Iowa.
I would love to be able to tell you where Plummer ranks among U.S. men, but the USATF – the governing body for track and field in the United States – hasn’t gotten around to updating its 2019 performance list since Feb. 13!