Garza Defends Pac-10 Discus Title as he Throws the No. 1 Mark in the NCAA

May 12, 2007


Greg Garza successfully defended his 2006 Pac-10 discus title on Saturday at the Pac-10 Championships in Palo Alto as the junior used a sixth round throw to propel himself to victory and into the No. 1 spot in the NCAA this season. The Bruins stand in fourth-place with 34 points, while Oregon leads with 47 points.

Garza was in third-place after five rounds of the discus competition at the Pac-10 Championships, but on his sixth and final throw, he unleashed a huge six-foot lifetime-best of 208-11 to take over the lead. But two throwers remained with one last shot to claim the conference title. However, neither athlete could match Garza's mark, giving the junior his second Pac-10 discus crown in as many years.

Garza moved to No. 2 all-time behind John Godina (213-0) and broke Scott Moser's junior class record (206-8).

On his thoughts heading into his final throw: 'I knew I had to keep my rhythm going and just stay relaxed. As soon as it left my hand, I knew it was going. I got goosebumps and I just yelled because I knew that was the one.'

On the overall competition: 'I pr'd on my third throw and just wanted to build off of that. My whole team was yelling for me and that really got me going and helped my confidence grow. I felt the wind and knew I had to take advantage of it.'

On defending his 2006 Pac-10 title: 'All I cared about was throwing far. Art (Venegas) told me to not worry about defending the title, just to go out, have fun and stay relaxed and throw far. I gave it all I had and I can go home knowing I gave it my best.'

On winning on the last throw: 'I knew I did the best I could do. I'm happy I did it in the sixth round and not the fifth because I only had to wait out two more throwers to see if my mark would hold up. There was a lot of tension afterwards, waiting to see what they would throw. The anticipation was killing me.'

Finals Results

Steeplechase - Henry Hagenbuch scored two points for the Bruins as he finished seventh in a time of 9:02.94.

10,000m - Austin Ramos, whose name was chanted by the entire men's track and field team every time he passed them, finished fourth overall in an inspired race that saw him running in the front of the pack for the entire race. Ramos finished fourth in a huge lifetime-best run of 29:12.84. His previous best was 30:02.01.

Pole Vault - Mike Landers finished third with a vault of 17-6.50. David Shortenhaus picked up two points as he finished seventh with a mark of 16-6.75. Casey DiCesare, who scored a point for the Bruins in the decathlon last weekend, just missing a scoring position on Saturday as he finished ninth in the vault with a season-best clearance of 16-0.75. Chris Bencomo was 10th (15-7) and David Murphy no heighted.

Long Jump - Joel Tuosto placed 10th with a mark of 22-5.75.

Shot Put - John Caulfield picked up four more points for UCLA as he finished fifth with a throw of 60-5.75. Darius Savage picked up a point as he finished eighth with a mark of 58-8. Also in the shot, Nick Robinson placed 10th with a throw of 54-7.25.

Discus - UCLA picked up some important points in the discus as three Bruins scored, highlighted by Garza's win. John Caulfield was seventh, throwing 189-6 and Darius Savage finished eighth with a mark of 189-1 to give the Bruins 13 points. Also in the discus, Jason Rider finished 12th with a season-best mark of 179-7 and Nick Robinson was 17th with a mark of 161-5.

Qualifying Rounds

100m - Brandon Smith finished ninth overall in the 100m to pick up the final spot in Sunday's final as he ran 10.79.

200m - Stan Griffin and Brandon Smith both advanced to the finals in the 200m as Griffin was eighth (21.62) and Smith was ninth (21.68). Also, Elijah Wells finished 13th in a time of 22.25.

400m - No entries.

800m - Mike Haddan finished 12th in the two-lap race, running 1:52.01.

1500m - Marlon Patterson missed the finals by one spot as he finished 13th in a time of 3:51.64.

110m Hurdles - Kevin Craddock and Darius Reed both advance to Sunday's final after posting the No. 1 and No. 2 times of the day in the preliminary rounds. Craddock won his heat in a time of 13.88, while Reed won his heat with a lifetime-best run of 13.96 (old best-13.97).

400m Hurdles - Brandon Johnson won heat one in a time of 51.65 to automatically advance to Sunday's final (he had the second-fastest time of the day). Tracy Session just missed a spot in the final as he finished 10th overall in a season-best time of 52.71.

The high jump, triple jump, hammer and javelin, along with all other running event finals will be contested on Sunday as the Pac-10 Championships continue.

Team Standings (after day one)
1. Oregon, 47 points; 1. Arizona, 57 points; 3. Arizona State, 39 points; 4. UCLA, 34 points; 5. Washington, 31 points; 6. Stanford, 26 points; 7. Washington State, 21 points; 8. USC, 18 points; 9. California, 10 points.

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