Zyra Thomas Scores Huge Upset Victory in Shot Put at New Balance Nationals Indoor


By Jim Lambert

NEW YORK - Zyra Thomas pulled off a shocking victory when the senior at Schalick launched a historic and huge personal best throw of 47-5.75 to capture the girls shot put title in upset fashion at the New Balance National Indoor Championships on Saturday at the 168th Street Armory in Manhattan.     

Thomas, who came into the meet with a PR of 45-5, exploded with her two-foot plus PR bomb on her third throw of the trials as she edged Payden Montana of Berwick, Pa., second with a 47-2.5.

Thomas is the third straight New Jersey girl to win the shot put at NBIN. Nickolette Dunbar of Whippany Park (now at LSU) won in 2016, and Alyssa Wilson of Donovan Catholic (now at UCLA) captured the title last year. Wilson is the national high school indoor and outdoor record holder in the shot put.

Shelby Bigsby of Montclair, who came into the meet with a US #1 throw of 50-2, placed sixth with a 45-0.5. Thomas, who came into the indoor season with PR of 43-7.25 that she threw to place fifth at the Meet of Champions June finished second to Bigsby at the N.J. Meet of Champions last month.

According to South Jersey track and field expert Reuben Frank, the 47- 5 ¾ by Thomas shattered the South Jersey indoor record of 46-1.5 set last year by Najeaya Singleton of neighboring Vineland at the state Group 4 meet, and the overall S.J. mark of 47-1.25 set by Cherokee's Jessica Woodard of Cherokee at the 2013 outdoor Meet of Champions. Woodard placed third for Oklahoma in the shot put at the NCAA Championships this past Friday.  

Thomas is the first athlete (boy or girl) from the Tri-County Conference to win a New Balance Indoor National title.

Girls Championship Shot Put Results

  1 Thomas, Zyra              18 Vineland, NJ            14.47m   47-05.75
      13.87m  FOUL  14.47m  FOUL  FOUL  FOUL                              
  2 Montana, Payden           18 Berwick, PA             14.39m   47-02.50
      13.60m  14.27m  13.55m  13.45m  14.39m  13.28m                      
  3 Lindeman, Chloe           19 Fulton, IL             J14.39m   47-02.50
      13.64m  FOUL  14.39m  13.90m  13.71m  13.81m                        
  4 Fraley, Veronica          18 Raleigh, NC             14.35m   47-01.00
      14.03m  14.20m  13.98m  14.03m  14.18m  14.35m                      
  5 Clark, Alexis             18 Fredericksburg, VA      14.22m   46-08.00
      14.22m  14.09m  14.09m  13.67m  13.77m  13.53m                      
  6 Bigsby, Shelby            18 Montclair, NJ           13.72m   45-00.25
      FOUL  13.47m  13.71m  FOUL  13.65m  13.72m                          
  7 Vasen, Emma               18 Ocean, NJ              J13.72m   45-00.25
      FOUL  12.94m  13.72m  FOUL  12.68m  FOUL                            
  8 Garabian, Cameron         19 Seekonk, MA             13.24m   43-05.25
      11.90m  11.85m  13.24m  12.35m  12.15m  12.74m                      
  9 Beasley, Kayla            18 Durham, NC              13.10m   42-11.75
      13.10m  12.73m  FOUL                                                
 10 Donner, Rachel            18 East Aurora, NY         12.29m   40-04.00
      FOUL  12.29m  FOUL                                                  
 11 Johnson, Morgan           19 Fayetteville, GA        12.12m   39-09.25
      10.93m  11.72m  12.12m                                              
 12 Rigel, Grace              18 Leipsic, OH             11.81m   38-09.00
      11.81m  11.46m  11.29m