Cherokee’s Jessica Woodard bombed one of the top shot put performances in U.S. history Sunday to secure a spot on the U.S. team that will compete later this summer at the World Championships.
Woodard, 27, moved up from 4th to 3rd and locked up the final qualifying spot when she threw 63-7 ¾ on her 5th attempt at the USATF Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
The top three finishers qualify for the U.S. national team as long as they’ve met the World Athletics standard, which in the case of the shot put is 60-8 ¼.
This is Woodard’s first national team.
Woodard came into the meet with a lifetime-best of 62-3 ½.
She threw exactly 61-7 ¾ on her 1st and 4th attempts separated by two fouls but despite throwing within six inches of her PR she was still sitting in 4th with two throws left, behind world leader and world indoor silver medalist Chase Ealey (70-6 ¾), Ohio State Olympian Adelaide Aquilla (63-9 ¾) and 2021 Olympic silver medalist Raven Saunders (62-2 ¼).
On her 5th throw, Woodard hit 63-7 ¾ to pass Saunders and move into 3rd. Saunders then fouled on her 5th attempt and threw 61-5 on her 4th to lock Woodard into 3rd place.
Woodard’s 63-7 ¾ is No. 8 in the world this year and and No. 14 in U.S. history.
The 2022 World Athletics Championships are scheduled for July 15-24 back at Hayward Field in Eugene.
The women’s shot put qualifying rounds are scheduled for 8:05 p.m. EST July 15 with the final at 9:25 p.m. July 16.