WWE NIL Athlete Chandler Hayden Dominantly Wins Hammer Throw At Tennessee Invitational

WWE's future stars have continued to rack up accolades and NCAA records in recent weeks. Last month, Haley and Hanna Cavinder helped the University of Miami women's basketball team advance to the Elite 8 in the annual March Madness tournament and last week, University of Kentucky track star Masai Russell broke a collegiate record untouched in the last decade. 


And now University of Tennessee track and field star Chandler Hayden has added her name to the list.

Tennessee announced in a news release Thursday night that Hayden, a hammer thrower on the Volunteers track and field team, "heaved a lifetime-best toss" in the university's Tennessee Invitational tournament to notch a dominating victory in the competition. The throw landed a little more than 63 meters, lengths further than the second-place finisher Mateya Hintz's 56.26-meter toss.

The career-best toss, and the victory it gave her, moved Hayden up to "the No. 3 hammer throw performer in program history," Tennessee said.

That strength is something WWE took note of last year when it signed Hayden and 14 other NCAA athletes to its second-ever "Next In Line" (NIL) class. WWE has had three "NIL" classes, cheekily named after the NCAA's recent "Name, Image, and Likeness" rule that now allows current collegiate athletes to profit off their careers while still in school.


None of WWE's "Next In Line" athletes have made their in-ring debuts as of yet, but the pro wrestling promotion hopes the collegiate pipeline can help create future stars with collegiate sports backgrounds, similar to some of the biggest stars in the company today — including its three most recent world champions in Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Bobby Lashley.