Tim Van Liew, a graduate of Deptford High and an NCAA Division 3 champ for Rutgers-Camden, threw 252-4 on his final throw and placed fourth in the javelin at the USATF National Championships in Sacramento Saturday.
South Jersey finished with four of the top nine finishers, with former NCAA champion Curtis Thompson of Florence sixth at 238-8, U.S. No. 3 Chris Mirabelli of Holy Cross eighth at 230-6 and Tom Carr of Eastern High ninth in 230-3 and missing the finals by just three inches.
Van Liew, 27, just missed his PR of 253-4, which he set earlier this month at a low-key meet at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. He was primarily a soccer player at Deptford and never threw the javelin until his senior year. After focusing on soccer his first two years at Rutgers-Camden, he finally resumed the javelin and won two NCAA Division 3 titles. He was a four-year starter in goal at Rutgers-Camden.
Thompson has a PR of 271-11 from last year’s nationals — which were the Olympic Trials. Mirabelli has a PR of 251-6 from this year’s Penn Relays and ranked No. 3 among American men going into nationals. Carr has a PR of 238-9 going back to 2015. Mirabelli and Carr are teammates at Rutgers.
Here’s a look at the event for the four South Jersey natives:
TOM CARR: Carr opened with a 207-8 and then moved into ninth place with a 230-3 on his second throw. He remained there the rest of the competition. Carr finished with a 210-8. Carr finished three feet shy of his season-best 233-3, also set at Ursinus.
CHRIS MIRABELLI: Mirabelli’s best throw was his first throw. He opened with a 230-6 and was in fifth place after the first throws. He dropped into eighth after the second round, in which he threw 227-9, and stayed there. Mirabelli threw 220-1 on his final throw of the prelims, then fouled on all three of his attempts in the finals.
CURTIS THOMPSON: Thompson had thrown a season-best 245-0 in a meet earlier this month in Germany, but his best Saturday was a 238-8, which came on his final throw. Thompson opened with a 228-8, a 232-3 and a foul in the prelims, then went 216-3, 225-8 and 238-8 in the finals. His final throw moved him from seventh to sixth.
TIM VAN LIEW: Van Liew had a solid series, averaging 243-6 on his four legal throws and finishing with the second-best throw of his career. He opened with a foul and then threw 232-8 to move into fifth and 246-4 to move into fourth going into the finals. He didn’t improve his place, but after opening with a foul and a 243-0, he closed with that 252-4.