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Buhach Colony's Hammar earns third at state track meet

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no caption Merced Sun-Star

CLOVIS -- Rebecca Hammar stood on top of the podium to accept her medal in front of a crowd of about 8,000 people.

That's when it finally hit the Buhach Colony sophomore.

"I didn't really feel anything until I got up there," Hammar said. "I stood up there and looked out and realized Anna (Jelmini) was right next to me and Alex (Collatz) was next to her. That's when I realized this is big."

Big indeed.

Hammar's throw of 140 feet and 2 inches was good enough for a third-place finish in the discus event of the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High on Saturday night.

It's even more special considering Shafter's Jelmini and Stockdale's Collatz are the top two high school discus throwers in the nation.

Jelmini won the event and set a new state record with a throw of 186-9 on her first attempt.

Collatz finished second with a throw of 163-1.

"It's like I told my dad, I finished first among the regular people," Hammar said. "Every one knew first and second was going to go to Anna and Alex."

Hammar needed a throw of 134-9 on her final attempt during Friday's trials to reach the finals.

She was on from the start during the finals.

"I knew I only had three throws during the trials," Hammar said. "That put a lot more pressure (on me). I knew I would have most likely have six chances in the finals."

Hammar uncorked her throw of 140-2 on her first attempt. She was right around the 140-foot mark on almost all her throws, hitting 136-9, 139-6 and 139-2.

"I'm so used to getting one good one out early," Hammar said. "When I don't, I get really nervous. I just wanted to get something 140 or up and then go from there. I still wasn't sure if it would stand up, because I knew there were a few girls that could throw 140 and up."

Hammar's first state experience already has her thinking about next year.

"I can't really put into words how happy I am," she said. "I'm happy I hit 140 and glad I got third, but I wanted to PR. It definitely makes me hungry for next year. I can't wait to get going."

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com

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