Donna Mayhew began throwing the javelin at the age of 15. She credits her coach at Crescenta Valley High, Edith Mendyka, for starting her on the road to track and field success in javelin, discus and shot put.
Donna came to Glendale College in 1979 and proceeded to win championships and set records. She was the Western State Conference champion in women's javelin in 1979 and '80. In fact, 1980 was a good year for Donna. She received the Outstanding Athlete Award, the Most Valuable Athlete Award, set a GCC school record in javelin, was the state community college champion and competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Donna transferred to the University of Arizona with a full athletic scholarship. There, she placed third in the NCAA Nationals and was named an All-American in 1983. In 1989 she was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame.
After college she continued to compete. In 1986 she won her first U.S. National Track and Field Championship in javelin and placed 6th at the Goodwill Games in Moscow. Two years later she won the U.S. Olympic Trials with the 3rd longest throw in U.S. history. This led to Donna's first Olympics in Seoul, Korea where she placed 7th. A great finish considering she had been sick before the Games began and missed her bus going to the preliminary rounds, forcing her to do her warming up on the way to the stadium. She qualified for the finals on her very last throw at the prelims. She would again be a finalist at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Overall she was national champion in javelin in 1986, '88, '89 and '92 through '95. That's 7 times. She was Olympic Festival Champion in 1987, '89, '91 and 93 and the U.S. Olympic Trials Champion in 1988 and '92. Her personal record of 208 feet 10 inches is the third best all-time for an American woman. And she's only 5 foot 3 1/2 inches tall.
Fitness continues to be part of Donna's life. She is working as a nationally certified personal trainer in Montrose and lives in La Crescenta. She is also getting kids interested in javelin through coaching and javelin clinics. She trains young and old and has prepared disabled athletes for the Paralympics. And Donna is always ready to give a few pointers on how to throw a sharp stick.