Michael Bryan wraps up historic season with 16th place finish at Olympic Trials


Kaylee Stout / The Sunflower

Michael Bryan poses for a picture prior to the Olympic Trials, in front of Charles Koch Arena. Bryan finished in 16th place in the event hosted in Eugene, Oregon.

Wichita State junior Michael Bryan racked up a 16th place finish in the hammer throw at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon. 

Bryan’s longest mark came in his first attempt which went for a distance of 67.98m/223-0. That mark was 16th best overall but ultimately Bryan fell four spots away from advancing to the finals of the event.

Prior to the event, Bryan said that the biggest key for this weekend would be finding consistency with his form.

“I’m really just trying to find a connection with my form and just hold it as long as I possibly can,” Bryan said. “That’s the real important thing.”

Just last week, Bryan’s junior season came to a close last week in a disappointing fashion at the NCAA Championships. Even though Bryan’s throw crossed the 70-meter benchmark and was fourth-best in his flight, he fell 30 centimeters short of advance to the finals.

The event was one of the most competitive in its history primarily due to many athletes taking advantage of their extra year due to COVID-19.

Bryan said that despite the disappointing finish, he is happy with his performance and receiving Second Team All-American honors. 

“In a normal competition, what I threw would’ve gotten me fourth or sixth place,” Bryan said. “So, I can’t be upset with it really because this is a huge outlier with all the other years. Plus COVID, so everybody that was going to leave, came back and did amazing. So, I was pretty happy with how I did.”

Bryan’s journey throughout his collegiate career has even surprised himself. He was originally left off the roster with WSU but this year ended up breaking the school record in the hammer throw four different times. 

“I wouldn’t have expected to go this far, especially this year,” Bryan said. “In October, we did a throw-off, I hit 61 meters and I was super pumped for that and I was like ‘oh my god, that’s crazy’. Now I’m throwing around 70 meters and I just don’t know how to process it.”

For next season, Bryan is planning to return to WSU after his historic season. He said that he will be taking a new method to his training this offseason to help him find more success next season. 

“I’m taking a new approach to my training,” Bryan said. “Over the offseason, I’m going to do what the Russians do, they have a special kind of training method. They train six days a week, two times a day, they split the volume so it’s a lot easier to get through a workout session.”

Bryan said that given his disappointing ending to his season, it is a motivating factor heading into next year’s NCAA Championships. 

“It’s a big-time motivator. I want to go back and fight for first, that’s my goal. Almost everybody in that flight was a senior so they’re all gone. When it really comes down to it, it’s us couple guys that are going to be the top places. Hopefully next year I’m going to be able to fight for the No. 1 spot.”

Three other current and former Shockers will compete in the Olympic Trials this weekend. Antonio Norman, who also earned Second Team All-American last weekend will compete in the 110 meters hurdles. Former Shockers Aaron True and Kellyn Taylor will compete in the javelin and the 10,000 meters respectively.