Thursday, June 9, 2011

Washington State's Marissa Tschida earns third place finish in NCAA javelin...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Washington State's Marissa Tschida (left/photo by Mike Scott) took third place and Courtney Kirkwood placed ninth in the women's javelin at the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium.

Tschida, a senior from Missoula, Mont., and the two-time Pacific-10 Conference champion, threw the spear 171-feet, 3 inches (52.20m) on her fourth attempt. Oklahoma's Brittany Borman won the event with a throw of 178-2 (54.32m), tossed on her fourth attempt and overtaking Stanford's Eda Karesin by slightly more than six feet,

There was a delayed start to the women's javelin of over an hour due to wet conditions from a thunderstorm Wednesday night which delayed other events sharing the field. Tschida's series of throws included distances of 167-6 (51.06m), a foul, and 149-4 (45.52m), placing her second after the first three attempts, and four feet behind the leader, Karesin.

Tschida's final three attempts were 171-3 (52.20m), a foul on the right side of the sector, and then by the narrowest of margins, another right side foul. After letting her final throw fly, the official in the field raised the white flag to signal a fair throw and then immediately changed to a red flag to signal a foul. The coaches estimated this was her farthest throw of the day.

Tschida, who had the top throw in the country entering this competition at 183-9 (56.02m), earned her third All-American certificate and leaves collegiate competition as the WSU all-time record-holder. In previous NCAA finals Tschida has finished fourth, sixth and 18th. She'll skip the USA National Championships later this month in Eugene in order to rest and rehabilitate her elbow.

Kirkwood, a junior from Othello, Wash., placed ninth with a throw of 160-0 (48.78), an improvement from her 2010's 11th place finish. Kirkwood series of throws measured 158-8 (48.37m), 158-7 (48.34m), 155-11 (47.52m), for ninth place through three attempts with only the top nine advancing to the final. Kirkwood's final three attempts were 145-11 (44.49m), 160-0 (48.78m), and 152-9 (46.57m).

In the men's hammer, junior Alex Nelson of Boise State, from Vancouver's Evergreen HS, finished 15th with a throw of 203-9 (62.12m), and Oregon senior Jordan Stray from Centralia was 18th at 202-8 (61.79m).

In running events completed so far, Bellingham's Becca Friday from the University of Oregon ran the second fastest time in qualifying in the women's 1500 at 4:15.17.

The University of Washington's Katie Flood, returning to the track where she won numerous Drake Relays titles as a high schooler at Des Moines' Dowling Catholic HS, was tenth in her heat at 4:25.75, just ahead of Sumner HS grad Katrina Drennen of Montana, who ran 4:25.86.

In the men's 1500m, Nathan Hale HS grad Abdi Hassan of the University of Arizona was advanced to Saturday's final on a protest, as he was knocked down approaching the bell lap.

The men's decathlon is in the ninth event, the javelin, and Jeremy Taiwo of the University of Washington finished all three of his throws, with a best of 118-9 (36.19m), worth 387 points, bringing his nine-event total to 6835 points, a score that will drop him out of the top eight.

Entering the javelin, Taiwo sat in seventh at 6418 points. He threw the javelin with his left hand, as he has elbow problems with his right arm, and will require Tommy John surgery on it this summer.

Bellingham's Jake Riley, and Gig Harbor's Miles Unterreiner, both competing for Stanford University are scheduled to run in the men's 10000, scheduled to be contested at 11 pm central time.

UPDATE (8:40 PM, pacific) The lightning and heavy rains at Drake Stadium have caused postponement of the remaining events of Thursday's schedule--the remaining heats of the women's and men's 4 x 400 meter relays, the men's 10000 and long jump finals, the conclusion of the decathlon javelin, and the decathlon 1500.  An announcement on start times for the remaining events will come Friday at 8 am, central time.

Day 2 results are available here.

NOTE: The sports information office of the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

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