JACKSONVILLE, FL – University at Buffalo shot putter Rob Golabek earned his second consecutive trip to the NCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday as he was one of 12 qualifiers to advance in the men's shot put as the East Region Preliminary came to a close at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium.
Golabek turned in a top throw of 63-2.75 (19.27m) on his fifth of six attempts and finished fifth in the competition. The top 12 finishers in the East and West regions advanced to the national meet.
The senior started slowly as his first throw measured 54-11 (16.74m) which placed him 27th among the 48 entrants. He improved on his second and third throws and stood in eighth place at 61-4.25 (18.70m) after the first round when the field was reduced to the top 16 competitors.
In the second round, Golabek threw 60-8.75 (18.51m) on his fourth attempt then posted his best throw of the day on his fifth attempt at 63-2.75 (19.27m). The toss was 6.75 inches shy of his school record set in 2011 and two inches off his season-best mark, set at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic on April 15.
Golabek finished with a sixth-round throw of 62-5.25 (19.03m).
"A great day for Rob," said UB women's coach Vicki Mitchell. "He is a tough competitor and really made a statement on his fifth throw. We are very proud of his competitiveness and very happy for [throws coach Jim] Garnham."
"Mr. Golabek has proven to himself and the rest of his teammates that he is a competitior and determined to get back to the NCAA final where he wants to finish in the top eight and earn that All-American status once again," said men's head coach Perry Jenkins.
Corey Knox also competed in the men's shot put and finished 29th with a top mark of 56-4.75, six inches shy of his season-best throw.
Golabek will be making his second consecutive appearance at the NCAA National Championships, June 6-9 in Des Moines, IA. He earned Second-Team All-America honors at last year's championships, also held in Des Moines, where he finished 11th. Women's middle-distance specialist Asia Henry will also be representing UB at the national meet as she advanced to the 800-meter semifinals on Friday night.