ASU, NAU and Arizona represented well after Day One of World Athletics Championships

Arizona Wildcats alumnus Edgar Rivera of Team Mexico competes in the men’s high qualification on Day One of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

EUGENE, Ore. – Alumni from Arizona’s three major public universities qualified Friday for their respective finals during Day One of the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field.

Those moving on include Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen (shot put), Northern Arizona’s Brooke Andersen (hammer throw) and Arizona’s Edgar Rivera (high jump).

ASU graduate students Jorinde van Klinken (shot put) and Beatrice Llano (hammer throw) missed out on qualifying for their finals, but van Klinken, who is the reigning NCAA outdoor champion, still has discus qualifying Monday.

Ewen (ASU ‘18) placed ninth in shot put qualification to advance to the final. Ewen’s first two throws reached 17.14 meters (56′ 2¾”) and 17.58 meters (57′ 8¼”), before her last throw of 18.96 meters (62′ 2½”) put her in the final.

Ewen admitted to experiencing nerves on her first throw. The American said she had been tweaking things in her technique and the second throw was closer to what she was working on but “it didn’t quite come together.”

“I finally got everything to mesh on that last throw and got it to go just far enough,” Ewen said.

Ewen, who won the 2018 NCAA outdoor championship in the discus and shot put with the Sun Devils at Hayward Field, said, “It’s been really, really cool,” being back in a place that holds so many exciting memories for her. “But I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not NCAAs,” Ewen said.

Athletes are staying on the University of Oregon campus and sleeping in dorms. Hayward Field’s capacity of 30,000 is the smallest in the event’s history. Eugene is also the 154th largest city in America, the smallest host city ever for the event.

Ewen placed fourth at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, but competing at the first world championships in the United States is an entirely new experience. “It’s totally different (from Doha),” Ewen, who is ranked No. 3 in the world, said. “It’s been a totally different experience just being here in the United States in a place that we’re incredibly familiar with.”

Ewen, last year’s Diamond League champion, will look to medal in Saturday’s final at 6:25 p.m.

“Just gonna keep trying to execute exactly what we felt on that last throw and hopefully we can just keep getting it to go a little bit farther and a little bit farther,” Ewen said.

Van Klinken, who is battling a quadripceps injury, saw her first attempt measure 18.02 meters (59′ 1½”) and her second attempt travel 18.19 meters (59′ 8¼”) before the Dutch graduate student fouled her third and final throw.

“I was just really excited to compete in my first shot put senior championships,” van Klinken said after competing in the discus at the last World Championships in Doha. “It almost felt like a home meet because we’ve already been to Eugene a couple times so that was kind of a special feeling.”

Van Klinken won this year’s and last year’s NCAA outdoor discus championship, this year’s Pac-12 discus and shot put championships and last year’s Pac-12 discus championship all at Hayward Field.

“I think it feels like a different world because it all feels so much smaller,” van Klinken said, comparing these world championships to her last in Doha. “It kind of feels a little bit more low-key, so it gives a whole different feeling to it, more like a home meet. It’s really special to experience it this way as well.”

Van Klinken will compete in Monday’s discus qualification and attempt to advance to Wednesday’s final.

“I have no idea where I stand right now,” said van Klinken, who has been dealing with a quadriceps injury over the past two weeks. “I just really hope I make the final and then we’ll see what shape I’m in currently.”

In men’s hammer throw, the opening event of the championships, Adam Keenan (NAU ‘17) narrowly failed to reach the final. Keenan, representing Canada, finished 13th, but only the top 12 advance to the final. Keenan’s best mark, 74.44 meters (244′ 2″), came on his second heave.

In women’s hammer throw qualification, Andersen, an American and ‘18 NAU grad, had the second-best mark at 74.37 meters (244′ 0″) to put her in the final. Andersen, ranked No. 4 in the world, enters Sunday’s final (11:35 a.m.) as one of the medal favorites. Llano, representing Norway, finished 28th, her best throw reaching 64.81 meters ( 212′ 7″).

Rivera, representing Mexico, nabbed the final spot in Monday’s high jump final. The former Wildcat (‘12) cleared 2.25 meters (7′ 4½”) and finished tied for 12th.

Former Brophy High School star Devon Allen (‘13) will return to Eugene and race in the 110-meter hurdles prelims Saturday. The former Oregon Ducks standout and current Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver will be running out of lane 3 in the fifth and final heat (11:53 a.m). Each heat features eight athletes and the top four of each heat plus the next four fastest times overall advance to Sunday’s semifinal. Allen is ranked No. 2 in the world in the event.

Allen’s race will be broadcast live on CNBC. The women’s shot put final will be tape-delayed and shown at 9 p.m. MST, on NBC. Live coverage can be streamed via, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

David Veenstra(he/him/his)
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

David Veenstra expects to graduate in August 2022 with a master’s degree in sports journalism. Veenstra has covered ASU track and field for Inferno Intel.