Kelechi Anyanwu Wins Discus NCAA Title
June 8, 2007
SACRAMENTO - California senior Kelechi Anyanwu won the women's discus throw with a school-record toss of 188-11 (57.58 meters) on Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium. The product of San Jose, Calif., broke her own former school record of 185-11 set earlier this season.
Anyanwu's title is Cal's first outdoor NCAA championship since Bevan Hart won the decathlon in 2000. It is also the second national crown, along with junior Alysia Johnson's 800-meter NCAA indoor championship, for the Bears so far this season.
'I was expecting something great from Kelechi this week,' Cal throws coach Jennifer Joyce said. 'She's been great all year for us. She was leading the country most of the season. She threw far early in the year and has been overdue for a big throw. Last week her training picked up a little bit, and she looked good the few practices before nationals. I knew she was ready. This is her first time to NCAAs. For a first timer to PR and win it, that's as good of a job as anyone could do.'
Golden Bears produced other strong performances, with three sixth-place finishes and a 10th-place finish. Senior Carrie Johnson finished sixth in the women's hammer throw with a toss of 211-0 (64.32 meters). Georgia's Jenny Dahlgren won the hammer with an NCAA meet and Hornet Stadium record throw of 232-0 (70.72).
Johnson's throw was five inches short of her personal-record 211-5, which ranks second on Cal's all-time list behind Joyce's school-record 214-0.
'Carrie had a good day,' Joyce said. 'She was looking for the big throw that Kelechi had today. There's still more in the tank. She's capable of throwing farther. She's been real focused on getting that school record, too. Carrie did a great job. Last year she had three fouls at this meet, but with her first throw this time she qualified for the final, and in the final her first throw was a good throw.'
'I'm real proud of all of them. We've been doing some good things in throws. Unfortunately Emilee Strot didn't get through qualifying in the discus or shot put. We've got a real solid program, and I think that it shows a lot about our program to have girls doing well in multiple events. I and Coach Chris Huffins as well have got to feel pretty good about the program when good things happen.'
Another Bears senior, Kevin Davis, took 10th place in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:41.54.
Cal junior Cassandra Strickland posted a 42-7 (12.98 meters) in triple-jump qualifying to place 17th, but she didn't advance to the final.
The NCAA Championships conclude on Saturday. Johnson competes in the 800 final at 10:28 a.m.
NCAA Outdoor Championships
Cal Results from Friday
High Jump Final
6. Ed Wright 7-2.50 (2.20 meters).
Hammer Throw Final
6. Carrie Johnson 211-0 (64.32 meters).
Triple Jump Qualifying
17. Cassandra Strickland 42-7 (12.98 meters).
Discus Throw Final
1. Kelechi Anyanwu 188-11 (57.58 meters).
High Jump Final
6. Inika McPherson 5-10.75 (1.80 meters).
3,000-Meter Steeplechase Final
10. Kevin Davis 8:41.54.