Camryn Rogers may not be a household name just yet, but Rogers’ performance last week ensured her name is well on its way. The rising Cal track and field sophomore won the hammer throw event in the IAAF World U20 Championships, topping her seemingly endless list of accomplishments.
Hailing from Canada, Rogers traveled to Tampere, Finland, proudly donning a small maple leaf on her uniform. At the end of the competition, the flag wasn’t just stitched to her jersey but was also draped around her neck as a cape. Rogers was more than the winner of an event — she was a Canadian hero.
Starting out 10th in the order, Rogers sent her hammer out to the 64.90-meter mark her first time out the gates. That throw would eventually win her the title, but no one knew that at the time.
Eager to overthrow the leader, Alyssa Wilson from the United States came close, recording 64.14 meters in the second round. Cuba’s Yaritza Martinez, who threw 63.82 meters, added to the pressure weighing on Rogers.
Wilson recorded 64.45 meters in the third round, getting closer to Rogers, but even Wilson’s fourth throw couldn’t surpass Rogers’ initial dazzler. Rogers herself couldn’t top her score, never throwing beyond 63.87 meters in the latter rounds — but one was all she needed.
After a contest that was nail-biting until the very end, the gold and bronze medalists walked away from the event with only 1.08 meters separating their best throws, making this finish the closest ever for a World U20 Championships women’s throwing event.
For Rogers, this title was the icing on the cake. She concluded her freshman year at Cal after setting a school record, finishing third in the Pac-12 in hammer throw and placing 13th at NCAA regionals.
While the World U20 Championships couldn’t have topped off Rogers’ freshman year any better than they did, the event also marked just the start of what’s in store for the world from the young athlete.
Surina Khurana covers volleyball. Contact her at [email protected].