Waltz Makes US Team for Athens Olympic Games

July 19, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Seven-time All-American and Washington State University discus record-holder Ian Waltz finished second in the discus Sunday in the final day of the United States Track & Field Olympic Trials.

Waltz, from Post Falls, Idaho, threw the discus 212-feet, 3 inches (64.69m) on his final of six attempts to reach second place and a spot on the United States Olympic Team. His qualifying throw of 204-10 (62.43m) was the third best in the competition and allowed him to be among the 12 men to advance to the final.

Jarred Rome, a Boise State grad who was frequently matched-up against Waltz in collegiate competition and went on to become his training partner, took first place at the Trials with a throw of 215-9 (65.77m), also on his final attempt. Both Rome and Waltz passed eventual third place finisher, Casey Malone, the leader after five attempts, with their final throws.

Waltz won the Pac-10 discus titles in 1997 and again in 2000 as well as the shot put title in 1997. His discus throw of 212-3 (64.70m) was the seventh-farthest this year by an American man going into the Trials.

Waltz joins former Cougar track and field competitors Anson Henry (sprinter, Canada) and Bernard Lagat (1500m, Kenya) at the Athens Games set for Aug. 20-29.

Sunday's results were not as good for former Cougar All-American hurdler Arend Watkins who finished eighth in the 110m hurdles final. Watkins time of 13.73 seconds was far slower than his semifinal time of 13.27, which was fourth fastest. Terrence Trammell won the race with a time of 13.14.

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