Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communication Departments
EUGENE, Ore. – The first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships produced a pair of All-American performances from Shawn Barber and Brittany Funk at Hayward Field.
Barber, who finished fifth in the men's pole vault at the NCAA Indoor meet, earned bronze Wednesday, placing third with a jump of 18-04.50. In doing so, the true freshman garnered All-America First Team honors for the second time in as many national meets.
Sam Kendricks from Ole Miss won the event with a clearance of 18-08.25 while the 2012 outdoor champion Jack Whitt from Oral Roberts was the runner-up with a height of 18-06.50.
Funk, who was a Second Team All-American in the weight throw during the indoor season, placed sixth in the hammer with a mark of 211-08 to earn first team distinction Wednesday. Funk had the second-best throw of the competition after the first round with a toss of 210-11, then bettered that mark with her fifth attempt. USC's Jenny Ozorai went for 217-06 to slip by Funk on her final toss. Arizona State's Chelsea won the event with a huge mark of 224-09.
The top eight finishers in each event earn All-America First Team honors from the U.S. Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association of America (USTFCCCA).
Also competing Wednesday, Alex McCune completed the first five events of the decathlon in 20th place with 3,677 points. The sophomore and defending Mid-American Conference champion placed 19th in the 100-meters (11.27), 10th in the long jump (23-07.50), 22nd in the shot put (39-00.50), 21st in the high jump (6-01.50 and 21st in the 400-meters (51.94).
Putting the finishing touch on a fine four-year career, senior Brittany Cheese placed 21st in the women's long jump with a leap of 19-06.00 to round out the list of Zips' competitors on the first day of the championship meet.
The NCAA Championships continue Thursday as Akron will have two athletes in action. McCune will look to improve his position during the conclusion of the decathlon, starting at 2 p.m. ET, while MAC Discus Champion and school record holder Alexis Cooks will have a chance to make her mark at 5 p.m. ET.
Eugene, Ore. – Bowling Green State University redshirt sophomore Brooke Pleger finished seventh at the NCAA Division I Women’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship, becoming the first Falcon to score points at the meet in 12 years. With the result, Pleger will also earn first team All-American status.
“Brooke has broken so much new ground this year with situations she has never been in before,” BGSU head coach Lou Snelling said. “The fact that she handled all of this so well and excelled speaks volumes about her as a competitor and as a person. We are all so proud of her first performance at the NCAA championships and her season as a whole.”
Entering the meet as the No. 7 seed, Pleger launched the hammer 209-feet on her second throw. That toss would be her best of the day and moved her into the nine-person finals in seventh place. She never moved out of that spot through three rounds in the finals, tossing the hammer 195-2 and 199-0 before fouling on her final attempt.
Pleger is the second BGSU student-athlete to earn first team All-American status this year. Chris Jones was named a first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). She joins Stephanie Heldt, Huina Han, Emily Cokinos and Beth Manson as the only All-Americans in BGSU women’s outdoor track and field history.
Only two Falcons have ever finished higher at the national championships than Pleger did. In 1998, Huina Han finished sixth in the triple jump and Beth Manson placed sixth in the discus in 1989. The last BGSU student-athlete to score at the meet was Stephanie Heldt, who tied for seventh in the high jump in 2001.
It was just the second time this year that a collegian defeated Pleger at a meet. Arizona State’s Chelsea Cassulo, who entered the meet ranked No. 1 in the country, won the national championship with a throw of 226-9. Illinois State’s Brittany Smith was second at 224-9 and Kansas’ Alena Krechyk was third at 223-10. USC’s Jenny Ozorai threw 217-6 and UCLA’s Ida Storm, who also beat Pleger at the Mt. SAC Relays earlier this year, was at 214-5. Akron’s Brittany Funk, who Pleger defeated for the MAC Championship, placed sixth in 211-8.
In fact, the MAC had three competitors in the 24-person field. Along with Funk and Pleger, Buffalo’s Shant’e White competed. She had a toss of 196-6 and did not make the finals, placing 19th.
"I'm so incredibly proud of Brooke," Matt Conly, assistant coach for throws, said. "It's so difficult to go to this meet for the first time and come away as a first team All-American. A lot of kids go several times before achieving that. The experience she gained this year through high level competition will be so valuable to the rest of her career. Brooke had a wonderful season and it was great to be a part of it and watch her hard work pay off."
Pleger’s final mark of 209-0 was her worst of the season. She had a personal best of 219-9 at the Northeast Ohio Invitational on April 5. With that throw, Pleger qualified for the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, which will take place June 19-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.
EUGENE, OR - It was a busy Wednesday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships for Buffalo, but it concluded on a high note as Jonathan Jones finished in fourth place in the men's shot put, earning first-team All-American status. The fourth place finish is the highest ever for a UB men's track and field athlete. Senior Shant'e White also competed on Wednesday in the hammer throw.
Jones set a new career high with a throw of 19.24m (63-01.50) on his fifth of six throws. During his flight, Jones improved on each of his three throws, sitting in sixth place at the completion of the first flight. After the second set of 12 threw, Jones reached the finals slotted eighth of nine competitors, but moved up to fourth after his career-best throw. Ryan Crouser from Texas won the meet with a throw of 20.31m (66-07.75).
Jones scored five points for Buffalo, putting them in a seventh place tie at the conclusion of Day 1 of the NCAA meet.
Earlier in the day, White finished 19th of 24 competitors in the hammer throw with a top throw of 59.90m (196-06), which she tossed on her third and final throw. White, who was one of three participants from the Mid-American Conference, capped off a senior year that saw her qualify for both the indoor and outdoor National Championships while winning a MAC title in the weight throw indoors and finishing as a second-team All-American. Arizona State's Chelsea Cassulo won the title with a throw of 69.12m (226-09).
EUGENE, Ore. – Competing in her third straight NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Miami University junior Tori Paterra garnered Honorable Mention All-America after placing 21st in the javelin Wednesday evening at the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field.
Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.), who has been battling through a back injury the past few weeks, fired the javelin 42.47m/139-4 on her second attempt, which was the best of her three throws. She was 11th in the first of two flights, ending up in 21st overall among the 24 throwers. Paterra improved on her seed, as she entered the NCAA meet seeded 22nd after placing 10th at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Greensboro, N.C. May 25 with a throw of 47.22m/154-11.
Paterra, who broke her own school record in the javelin earlier this year at the All-Ohio Championships (50.51m/165-8), became just the third RedHawk in program history to qualify for three NCAA Championships. She joined Andrea Kremer (2001, 2003-04) and Sarah Landau (2005-07) as the only RedHawks to participate in three National Championships. Paterra could become the first RedHawk to make the NCAA Championships every year of her career if she qualifies as a senior.
This year marks the second time Paterra has collected Honorable Mention All-America in her career, also doing so as a freshman when she was 20th at the NCAA meet. Last year, she earned First-Team All-America when she placed seventh overall at the NCAA Championships.
Paterra was the only representative from the Mid-American Conference in the javelin at the NCAA meet and was the only RedHawk to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Miami’s 2013 season is now complete.