Lance Deal shattered the world indoor record in the 35-pound weight throw and produced the three longest throws in history Friday at the Mobil Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Deal, 29, uncorked his best throw on his sixth and final attempt, reaching 79 feet, 3 3/4 inches.That was 9 1/4 inches farther than the previous mark of 78-6 1/2 by Tore Johnsen of Norway at Colorado Springs, Colo., on Feb. 25, 1984. Deal, a 1988 Olympian, also surpassed Johnsen's record on his third throw, with a heave of 79-2.
Two other notable throws for Deal were his second - 78-3, breaking the American record of 78-0 1/4 he set in this meet last year - and his fifth, 78-11 1/4.
Deal's other two throws sailed 77-1 3/4 and 76-5, giving him a series average of 78-2 1/2, the best ever.
"Coming into this meet, I honestly believed the record was within reach," Deal said at Princeton, where the 35-pound weight throw - and all the other weight events - was conducted. "Lately I've been training at a consistently high level, throwing 77s and 78s all day long.
"I didn't know if I could break the record again (after the third throw). I walked outside and thought about it, and I was shaking. But I felt great and it just happened."
The victory gave Deal his third straight national title and fourth in five years.
The 6-2, 238-pound Deal, a native of Casper, Wyo., now living in Eugene, Ore., was one of five throwers to surpass the 70-foot barrier, believed to be the first time that has happened in the same meet.
Jud Logan, the national champion from 1984-86, finished second at 75-8. He was followed by Ken Flax at 71-4, Jim Driscoll with a personal-best 70-5 3/4, and Christophe Ephale of France at 70-4 1/4.