Warner Throws Her Way To The Top

PHOTO+SUBMITTED+BY+UCM+ATHLETICS+MEDIA+RELATIONS

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By ALI OVERSTREET
Sports Editor

(Warrensburg, Mo., digitalBURG) — A Central field athlete just missed her shot at Rio.

Heavin Warner placed fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials July 6 in Eugene, Oregon, in the hammer throw. She was ranked 10th in the nation, but her first mark of 223-11 feet was enough to hold onto a top-five finish. Only the top three athletes advanced to the Olympics.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS

“The atmosphere was crazy. Hammer doesn’t usually get that much attention but there were a lot of people in the stands and I’ve never thrown in front of that many people before. The coolest part, I think though, was having the opportunity to throw against these girls,” Warner said. “Throughout the season I haven’t really got the chance to throw against people who were outright better than me. So getting to watch them throw as well as having the opportunity to compete with them was pretty cool.”

This was the second straight year Warner competed at the U.S. Championships, but it was the first time she advanced to the finals. Warner finished 12th in 2015.

“To come here and do that against other U.S. athletes, and not just college athletes, is a tremendous feeling,” Warner said in a press release. “It’s exciting to know all my hard work is worth it.”

Warner has fully embraced her role as a student athlete, graduating last spring with a 3.67 grade point average and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy – exercise science. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in exercise science – kinesiology.

Warner was a two-time Academic All-American during her UCM career, earning the most recent distinction in June from the College Sports Information Directors of America.

The Jennies track and field star continued to climb the ladder of success by receiving the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The scholarship is worth $7,500 and is awarded to athletes who are well-rounded regarding sport, academics, service and leadership, according to a news release.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY UCM ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS

“I was definitely appreciative to NCAA for awarding me it and obviously to Paul Englemmon from UCM for nominating me in the first place,” Warner said. “It definitely lightens my load financially.”

Warner finished her career as a 10-time All-American with six UCM school records. She is also the all-time NCAA Division II record holder in the hammer throw, owning the top 12 throws of all-time. She was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.

And recently, the NCAA announced the conference nominees for the 2016 Woman of the Year Award, with Warner representing the MIAA.

“To represent the MIAA on such a big scale is a pretty cool feeling because the MIAA is one of the best conferences in D-II,” Warner said. “I’m pretty blessed to get this far in the nominations.”

The top 30 nominees will be honored Oct. 16 when the NCAA Woman of the Year is named at the annual banquet in Indianapolis.