Lincoln County’s DeAnna Price has just broken her own North American World Record for hammer throwing.
Going into the 2019 season, Price felt confident about where she was and was improving with every throw.
Then Price was hit with a monumental setback.
“It seemed like it was overnight my numbers started dropping, and we didn’t seem to know what was wrong,” Price said.
From being a life-long athlete, Price is not a stranger to injury and she has dealt with setbacks in the past from a dislocated shoulder, broken scapula and a torn abdominal however, this time it seemed different because there was no pain. Her numbers went down by ten, then fifteen and eventually her numbers had dropped by forty. Not wanting to compete, Price didn’t know if this was a sign that it was time for her to quit and go on to something else with her life.
“It started to feel like I was wearing a harness and it became hard to move like I should,” Price said. She already visited the chiropractor once a week but nothing seemed to help. Then a friend of hers referred her to Brian Murer of Bloomington, Indiana, who was a former hammer thrower himself. Looking for a solution, Price called Murer and explained her problem.
“He knew exactly what I was talking about and scheduled to meet with me,” Price said.
From his own experience, Murer knew what buttons to press to get Price back on the field.
She immediately felt a difference, although it took her a while to get back to where she had been. She fell back into her routine, slowing making daily improvements, which came to pay off last weekend, on July 27, when Price set a new American record at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championship. She threw a 256 feet and 8 inches throw, which beat her old American record of 256 feet and 3 inches.
“This year has been the hardest year for me mentally, and when I broke my record a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders,” Price said.
Price, a 26-year-old Moscow Mills native, attended Troy Buchanan High School, where she was on both the Track and Field and Softball teams – for the latter she held the homerun record for Troy.
“I think it’s every athlete’s dream to make it to the Olympics, but it was an empty dream, I knew I wanted to, [I] just didn’t know how,” Price said.
Not wanting to stop competing after high school, Price graduated in 2011 and went on to attend Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She received offers for scholarships in both Track and Field and Softball.
Price ended up taking the partial-ride scholarship for Track and Field.
“I really had a good feeling, and went with my gut decision to take the Track and Field scholarship,” Price said.
She quickly earned a full-ride scholarship after being on the team, and was the first female to be awarded the All-American in all four years of college.
In 2015, Price attended the World Championship in Athletics in Beijing, China, where she was 10th in the qualifying heat.
In 2015, she also placed fourth at the Pan American Games, which made her the fifth woman in NCAA history to win back-to-back hammer throw titles, and the first since 2007.
In 2015 Price landed second at the USA Olympic try-outs and was able to attend the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games where after over two weeks of competition, she finished eighth in the world. She hopes to return to the Olympic stage and attend the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. To achieve this goal, Price plans to work harder each day and push herself to be the best athlete she can be.
Upon graduation from SIUC, her sole focus became athletics. She trained (and continues to train) daily, working on her technique and always striving for improvement.
“Each day I ask myself three questions, Who do I do this for?, What is my purpose? and Why do I do this?” Price said.
She lives by the motto, “It’s not me, it’s we,” which to her means that she never does anything just for herself. Everytime she goes up to compete, Price said she is doing it for the ones that look up to her.
“If I can inspire someone to believe in themselves and not to give up, then I’ve done my job,” Price said.
As 2019 has shown so far, this journey for Price has had it’s ups and downs and is certainly not over yet.
She credited her success to some of the special people in her life or the “who” for the reason she continues to do what she does. “My mom has been my biggest inspiration, hero and best coach, she was always there day in and day out,” Price said.
Her mom has helped her practice, been at every game and worked with her to become the athlete she is today. Another person that has helped her chase this dream is her biggest fan and coach – and husband as of October 2018 – James Lambert.
“He knows the fine line of when to push me and knows exactly what to say to get me pumped up before I go,” Price said. The last person on Price’s list is Brian Murer who helped Price to overcome her latest setback.
“He is my chiropractor but he is also family, he welcomed me into his family with open arms and worked with me to get me back to where I was,” Price said. She now visits Murer as often as she can to maintain her body for competition.
“He always says to me, ‘we will hold you together by bailing wire and tape,’” Price said. Price said she always hopes to make Lincoln County proud as she competes this year.