Curtis Thompson placed second Sunday in the javelin at the USATF Championships in Eugene – his 4th top-3 finish at nationals – but won’t throw at World Championships because he hasn’t hit the World Athletics qualifying standard.
Thompson, a Florence native who competed in the 2021 Olympics, threw 264-1 on his 5th throw to take the lead before finishing 2nd to Ethan Dabbs of Virginia, who hit 266-8 on his final attempt to move from 5th into the lead.
Thompson placed 2nd at Hayward Field in the 2016 Olympic Trials, 6th in the 2017 nationals in Sacramento, won the 2018 meet in Des Moines, took 4th in 2019 in Des Moines, there was no meet in 2020 and he won last year back in Eugene.
So he’s competed at nationals in Eugene three times and placed in the top two all three times. He also won the 2014 USATF Junior National title and 2016 NCAA title in Eugene.
The qualifying standard for the 2022 World Championships in Eugene next month is 278-10 ¼, (85 meters) and only four Americans have ever thrown that far.
The No. 1 mark by an American this year is Dabbs’ 272-0 when he placed 2nd in the NCAA Championships for Virginia in Durham, N.C., last month. Dabbs is a Pennsylvania native from Richland High in Johnstown, Cambria County.
When a country doesn’t have any qualified athletes in a specific event, one unqualified athlete can participate in Worlds, and that will be Dabbs because of his win at nationals.
Thompson opened with a 258-10 but fouled on his next two attempts while Penn’s Mark Anthony Minichello took the lead with a 259-4.
Thompson opened the finals with a 251-2 before popping the 264-1 on his 5th attempt. Since he was ahead of Dabbs going into the final, he threw after him, so he had one last chance to regain the lead but fouled on his 6th throw. Minichello, throwing last, wasn’t able to improve on his 259-4, so Dabbs and Thompson finished 1st and 2nd.
The 264-1 is four feet off his season best of 268-1, which he also threw at Hayward Field at the Oregon Relays in April.
Minichello, who wound up 3rd,, is from Wyoming Area High in Exeter, Pa., Luzerne County, so the top three finishers are all from Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
Going into the meet, Dabbs ranked No. 1 among Americans, Tim Glover was No. 2 at 271-8 and Thompson was 3rd. Glover placed 5th at 250-6.
Seven out of Thompson’s 10-best throws ever have been in either Tucson or Eugene.
271-11… Olympic Trials, Hayward Field, Eugene, July 4, 2016
271-7 … Olympic Trials, Hayward Field, Eugene, June 21, 2021
268-1 … Oregon Relays, Hayward Field, Eugene, April 23, 2022
267-2 … USATF Throws Festival, Roy P. Drachman Stadium, Tucson, Ariz., May 22, 2021
266-5 … USATF Throws Festival, Roy P. Drachman Stadium, Tucson, Ariz., May 21, 2022
265-10 … American JavFest, East Stroudsburg [Pa.] South High School, July 17, 2021
265-10 … Florida State Relays, Mike Long Track, Tallahassee, Fla., March 25, 2016
265-7 … Victoria Track Classic, Centennial Stadiumn, Victoria, British Columbia, June 15, 2022
264-8 … USATF Throws Festival, Roy P. Drachman Stadium, Tucson, Ariz., May 21, 2022
264-1 … USATF Championships, Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore., June 26, 2022
263-10 … 94th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, Mike A. Myers Stadium, Austin, Texas, March 25, 2022
260-11 … American JavFest, East Stroudsburg [Pa.] South High School, July 30, 2016
260-1 … NACAC Under-23, San Salvador, Estadio Jorge “Mágico” González, June 17, 2016