Sunday, April 3, 2011

Former NCAA javelin champ Monica Gruszecki gets auto standard at Shotwell Invite...

TACOMA--The throwing events took center stage Saturday, as most of Washington state's Division II and III schools competed at the J.D. Shotwell Track & Field Invitational hosted by the University of Puget Sound at Baker Stadium.

Western Washington's Monika Gruszecki (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University), a senior from Meadowdale HS won the women's javelin with a NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark of 150-6 (45.87).

That guarantees a third trip to nationals for Gruszecki, who was hampered by minor injuries most of last season after spending the previous year at Philipps University in Germany. A two-time All-American at Western, she won the NCAA II national title as a freshman in 2007 and placed second nationally in 2008.

Gruszecki leads the nation's Division II competitors with her toss.

In the women's hammer, Central Washington's Torrie Self narrowly missed the NCAA DII auto standard, as she set a new stadium and meet record, throwing 182-4 (55.58m), just short of the automatic standard of 55.65m.

Self is currently the #2 thrower in Division II.

In the men's javelin, Tyler Callahan of Mt. Hood Community College set a new stadium and meet record, throwing the spear 214-11 (65.51m).

In the overall team scoring, Seattle Pacific, buoyed by sweeps in the 200m and the long jump, took the women's team crown, scoring 210.5 points over runner-up Western Washington, who scored 135.5.

Western Washington won the men's team title with 232 points, outdistancing Central Washington, which scored 130 to place second in the 12-team meet.

Complete results are available here.

In Lubbock, Texas on April 1st, former University of Washington All-American Aretha Thurmond finished second in the elite discus exhibition competition held the day before the Texas Tech Open meet.

Thurmond threw 207-4 (63.19m) to finish behind Becky Breisch's American leading mark of 207-9 (63.33m), which is currently third in the world this season.

In her blog, she stated that she was pleased with the mark, adding that she and Breisch both have the World Championships "A" standard out of the way.

In the men's competition, former WSU standout Ian Waltz finished fourth with a toss of 197-11 (60.34m).  Former Husky Will Conwell of Club Northwest was eighth in 190-0 (57.92m), while Marysville-Pilchuck grad Jarred Rome was ninth at 185-8 (56.59m).

Texas Tech alum Jason Young won the competition with a toss of 203-4 (61.99m).

Complete results from the Texas Tech Elite discus competition are available here.

NOTE: The University of Puget Sound, Texas Tech University, Western Washington University, and Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

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