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IU has strong showing at the NCAA Championship meet



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Daniel Kuhn warms up Thursday afternoon at the Billy Hayes Track. He prepared for the NCAA Outdoor Championships next week. Shiqi Zhang Buy Photos

Four of the five athletes that competed in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships were named All-Americans from their performances in Eugene, Oregon, this weekend.

Senior pole vaulter Sydney Clute and junior thrower Nakel McClinton were named first team All-Americans, while freshman thrower Willie Morrison and sophomore middle distance runner Daniel Kuhn were named second team All-Americans.

McClinton finished seventh in the women’s hammer throw with a 62.91-meter throw. Illinois senior DeAnna Price won the national title with a 71.53-meter throw, an NCAA championship meet record.

“I’m excited right now,” McClinton said in a press release. “It’s extra special to achieve this after being unable to achieve that in the indoor season. It hasn’t really set in just how huge this is, but today was a great day.”

Clute finished fourth in the women’s pole vault with a 4.30-meter vault. The winning mark was 4.50 meters by Arkansas freshman Alexis Weeks. Clute’s goal for nationals was a top-five finish. At indoor nationals, she fell short of her goal for the meet, so in many respects this was a gratifying performance for the Hoosiers.

“We had four outstanding performances this weekend, led by veterans Sydney and Nakel,” IU Coach Ron Helmer said in a release. “Both had solid performances, and when outstanding athletes are solid, good things always happen.”

Kuhn finished 11th in the men’s 800-meter run preliminary in 1:47.20. Only the top eight advanced to the finals. The winning time in the final was a new collegiate record 1:43.55, set by Texas A&M freshman Donavan Brazier. Kuhn’s time was just 0.5 seconds shy of his career high.

Morrison finished 16th in the men’s shot put. His 18.69 meter throw was third amongst freshmen in the event. After setting new personal bests in three consecutive meets, Morrison was unable to continue his streak. But Helmer was still impressed with him and Kuhn.

“Daniel and Willie performed well enough in their first NCAA Championship meet to earn second team All-American honors, and both are committed to coming back and making their mark in the future,” Helmer said in a release. “Both are young guys with many opportunities to perform at this level.”

Senior thrower Laura Schroeder was the only Hoosier that competed at nationals that was not named an All-American. She finished 18th in the women’s hammer throw with a 59.11-meter throw.

“All five athletes represented IU with extreme class and pride,” Helmer said in a release. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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