Freshman javelin thrower ends season with a throw of 142-6 in Arkansas
Michelle Coombs finished 25th with a throw of 142-6 in the javelin as the Eastern Washington University track and field athlete concluded her season Wednesday (June 10) at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
"I am a little disappointed," said Coombs after competing in the javelin. "I would have liked to had a better throw."
Coombs, a freshman from Hermiston, Ore., received an at-large berth to the Championships as she made her first appearance at a national level. She entered ranked 21st in the field of 26 with a throw of 163-1 set when she won the Big Sky Conference title.
The top 12 advanced to Friday's (June 12) finals. Had she thrown her career best, Coombs would have currently be ranked eighth.
"It was disappointing but it was a good experience for a freshman," said head women's track and field coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "Hopefully it will be a good learning experience for her for the next three years."
Her throw of 163-1 ranks her third in school history. She finished sixth at the NCAA West Regionals from May 30 in Eugene, Ore., with a throw of 153-4.
Coombs is just one of six EWU javelin throwers since 1999 that had competed at the National Championships. Others include, Carolee Gutierrez (8th, 161-10), Ryan Cole (8th, 223-3 and 15th, 211-3), Zach Guydish (24th, 208-8), Stephanie Ulmer (27th, 133-4) and Jordan Baughan (19th, 148-9).
Eastern has had only two female All-American athletes at the NCAA Division I level (indoors and outdoors) -- Gutierrez in the javelin (161-10) to finish fourth in 2007 and Kari McKay in the 10,000 (35:18.15) with a fourth-place finish in 1992. The top eight American finishers at the meet earn All-America status.