Jessica Woodard moves into U.S. shot put top 10 with big throw in Long Beach meet!!!

Jessica Woodard, competing in her first year of post-NCAA track, threw a season-best 59-3 in the shot put at a recent meet in California.

That’s only two feet off her lifetime best.

Woodard, a Cherokee graduate and six-time All-America in the shot put at Oklahoma, easily won the shot at the Jim Bush Championships at Jack Rose Track on the Cal State campus in Long Beach. She didn’t compete in the discus.

Woodard’s throw makes her No. 9 among Americans this year and No. 30 in the world. Woodard turned 24 in February. Only one of the U.S. women and nine of the world women ahead of her are younger than she is.

Her previous season-best was a 59-2 1/2 at the Elite Classic in Tucson, Ariz., in May.

Woodard set her PR of 61-3 1/2 at the NCAA Championships in Eugene last summer. She also has a discus PR of 190-9.

Woodard has qualified for this year’s USATF Championships but hasn’t yet entered. The meet is scheduled for later this month in Des Moines, Iowa.

At Long Beach, Woodard finished far ahead of second-place Lena Giger, who threw 55-6 3/4. When Woodard finished second at NCAA’s last spring, Giger was third throwing for Stanford.

Woodard threw 183-11 in her only discus competition this year, at the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Okla., in April. That ranks her No. 30 this year among U.S. women.

Cherry Hill East graduate Maya Drayton shatters one PR, ties another at youth championships!!!

Maya Drayton, a recent Cherry Hill East graduate, had a big weekend at the AAU Region 2 National Qualifier, running a personal-best 12.05 in the 100-meter dash and matching her 200 PR with a 24.53.

Drayton had high school PRs of 12.13 and 24.53, both from this past Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington, where she placed seventh in both races.

Drayton, who will run at Georgetown, won both events in the 17-18 age group at Stockton University in Galloway Township. She ran the 12.05 and 24.53 in the trials and won the finals in 12.17 and 24.67.

She’ll advance to the AAU National Championships. It’s not clear on the AAU web site exactly where and when that meet is, but it appears to be this coming weekend at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.