March 9, 2007
His throw wasn't big, but the experience was.
Eastern Washington University senior David Paul finished 14th at the NCAA Championships in the weight throw Friday (March 9) in Fayetteville, Ark.
His throw of 63-1 1/4 was more than five feet less than his school record of 68-8 1/2 that ranks third in Big Sky history. If he would have equaled that mark, he would placed ninth and earned All-America honors.
"It was his first time there, so at least he received some big meet experience that will hopefully carry over to nationals outdoors," said Eastern throws coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "He now has some big meet experience under his belt that will help him do well outdoors."
Paul (Yelm, Wash.) now enters the outdoor season looking to qualify nationally in the hammer. He owns the school record of 204-5 in that event, but had a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Big Sky as a junior. He is also the defending league champion in the discus with a best of 179-6 to rank second behind the school record of 192-4 set by Brad Boland in 1980.
"I expect him to break his own school record and I would be surprised if he wasn't the top hammer thrower in the Big Sky," said Mecklenburg. "He's coming back as the Big Sky champion in the discus, so I'm expecting him to do well in that also. And he finished really well in the shot put indoors, so hopefully that will carry over outdoors too."
"He will have three events where he can score big points for us at the conference championships," she added. "Hopefully he'll be able to move on in the hammer throw to the national meet."
Paul entered Friday's competition ranked ninth in NCAA Division I his 68-8 1/2 throw. That mark is a school record he set while earning All-Big Sky honors and placing first at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships Feb. 23-24.