White Oak native brings home national title - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

White Oak native brings home national title

WAVERLY, Iowa – UT Tyler Athletics Release

Whitney Simmons unleashed the greatest hammer throw of her career to win the NCAA Division III National Championship at 59.13 meters on Saturday at Walston Hoover Stadium.

A junior from White Oak, Simmons established a new personal and school record en route to winning the National Championship and had the sixth best throw in DIII history. Her top throw came in her third attempt and followed a mark of 59.11 on her second throw and 56.18 meters on her opening throw. Madison Haasz finished as the national runner-up with a throw of 57.71 for Heidelberg, while Meghan Serdock (Oneonta) was third at 57.14 and Emily Bassett (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps ) fourth at 56.09.

“It took me an entire year to PR, but man, what a place to do it,” Simmons said. “I’m beside myself ecstatic. I’m blessed beyond measure to be able to compete for this school and for the opportunities give to me all season long.”

Simmons, who has been the national leader throughout the season after a previous season-best throw of 57.48 meters at the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, topped her personal record three times on Saturday after her sixth and final throw of 58.22 which would have won the national title. Now a five-time All-American with three in outdoor and two indoors, Simmons stood atop the podium realizing her dream of a national title had come true.

The national record is 62.92 meters by Keelin Godsey of Bates at the 2006 meet. Simmons had the 10th best throw of all-time at last year’s national meet where she threw 58.46 meters in her runner-up finish to Melanie Brickner who threw 58.99 meters for UW-Oshkosh.

“The plan today was to just trust everything she has done all year long to get to this point," UT Tyler coach Chris Stonestreet said. "She knew she was ready and she executed to perfection.”

Simmons, who won nine of 10 meets in her junior season, is the third individual champion in UT Tyler history following Kevonte Shaw who won the 2015 NCAA DIII Indoor Championship 200-meter dash and Laura Lindsey who won the 2013 NCAA DIII Women’s Golf Championship.

“The excitement is indescribable,” Simmons said. “I’m still in shock with what happened. Not in a ‘I can’t believe I did that’ kind of way, but more in a ‘finally’. I’ve been waiting so long for a this. After the way indoor season ended, I knew I had to make outdoor special. For me, for Chris, for the school. So I trained. We trained. And this is the outcome of all of our hard work. I wouldn’t be what I am today without Chris Stonestreet and I hope everyone at UT Tyler realizes that.”

Simmons also won the American Southwest Conference Championship this season and was named the USTFCCCA West Region Field Athlete of the Year. 

“I’m speechless,” Stonestreet said. “Words couldn’t explain how proud of Whitney I am. The journey has been absolutely incredible, the outcome was amazing but the process was even more special. So many ups and downs are experienced throughout a season, but her mental toughness showed time and time again. Her ability to zone-in and perform under the highest pressure situations are one of a kind.”

WHITNEY SIMMONS RESULTS

Marc Randle Classic - 57.39m (1st)
War Hawk Classic - 55.30m (1st)
Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays - 57.48 (6th)
Trinity Open - 56.34m (1st)
Skechers Carl Knight Invitational - 52.35m (1st)
East Texas Invite - 56.25m (1st)
American Southwest Conference Championship - 56.51m (1st)
Longhorn Invitational 57.19m (1st)
North Central College Dr. Keeler Invitational - 57.18m (1st)
NCAA Division III National Championship – 59.13m (1st)

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