GREENSBORO, NC – Two University at Buffalo athletes advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships following their performances in the Eastern Preliminary Rounds on Thursday afternoon.
Women's shot putter Kristy Woods and men's hammer thrower Matt Gac broke UB school records as they finished among the top 12 in their events guaranteeing a spot in the national meet in Eugene, OR, starting on June 9.
Woods turned in a third-place finish in the women's shot put with UB teammate Becky O'Brien placing 15th as the top 12 throwers advanced to the next rounds. Woods broke O'Brien's shot put record with a toss of 54-9.25 (16.69m), bettering 15 inches on the record set when O'Brien won the Mid-American Conference title at UB Stadium on May 14. Woods and O'Brien both survived the first cut as the field was reduced to 16 throwers from the 48 entrants after the first three rounds. O'Brien's best toss was 51-1 (15.57m) as both she and Woods posted their best tosses on the second of their six attempts. Florida's Mariam Kevkhishvilli, the 2010 indoor shot put champion, was the top finisher on Thursday at 57-10.50 (17.64m).
Gac finished 11th among 48 entrants in the men's hammer throw. He posted his top throw of 203-4 (61.99m) on his fourth of six attempts. The mark bettered his school record toss that he set two weeks earlier at the Mid-American Conference Championships by more than two feet. He is the only UB athlete to eclipse 200 feet in the hammer throw. Virginia Tech freshman Alexander Ziegler won the event with a toss of 234-1 (71.35m), more than 10 feet better than the second-place finisher.
Competition continues on Friday with Woods among three UB entrants in the women's hammer throw. Gac and O'Brien are slated to compete in the discus throws on Saturday.