On the brink of elimination, Cherokee’s Jessica Woodard on Saturday became the eighth U.S. woman to finish in the top eight in the shot put at the World Championships.
Woodard, who fouled on her first two throws, was in jeopardy of not placing at all Saturday in Eugene after reaching the finals with a 62-7 throw on Friday.
But she not only got a legal mark on her third and potentially final throw, she earned herself three more throws and guaranteed a top-8 finish by the margin of just over one inch.
Woodard threw 61-3 on her third attempt to move into 8th place, 1 ¼ inches ahead of American Maggie Ewen, who had thrown 61-1 ¾.
Since only the top eight get three more throws, Woodard ended Ewen’s day by the smallest of margins.
Woodard did not improve on that 61-3 and wound up finishing 8th overall at the World Championships at Hayward Field.
This was the first international championship meet for Woodard, and only seven American women have ever thrown farther at the World Championships.
Woodard had one other legal throw in her series, a 61-1 ½ on her final attempt.
All in all, a tremendous debut on the international stage for the 26-year-old Woodard, an All-America at Oklahoma.
It’s been quite a couple months for Woodard, who threw 63-7 ¾ to place 3rd at the USATF Championships and move into the No. 14 spot in U.S. history before throwing 62-7 Friday and finishing in the top-10 on Saturday.