NCAA Announces Springer to Throw at National Championships
June 2, 2009
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State's Samantha Springer gained an at-large bid and will be dancing in the discus at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in two weeks as announced by the NCAA in a published list of declared athletes, by event, that were accepted into the championship meet Tuesday afternoon.
"It is to Nationals after four years for Sam," said head coach Elvis Forde. "She has worked hard and has had her ups and downs, but she has committed herself to performing at a much higher level this year than she has in the past. I think a lot of that has come from coach (Jeff) Chakouian letting her know that she has the ability to be a point scorer for us in all of her events at the conference meet, which she was, and during the course of the year he showed her she was a national-caliber athlete."
The Tremont, Ill., native took 10th in the women's discus throw for the Redbird women's track and field team at the 2009 NCAA Mideast Region Track and Field Championships held in Louisville, Ky., May 29. Her throw of 161-5 in the discus gave her a strong chance to gain an at-large bid to the NCAA National Championships, since she finished in the top-12.
Springer's season-best and Missouri Valley Conference Championship winning throw of 172-4 places her at No. 15 of 26 competitors that will vie for a national title June 10-13.
"I am expecting that she wants to go, not just to be a part of it, but to be a valid participant and try to advance into the finals," said Forde. "Any time you get the opportunity to compete at a championship of this magnitude it is a privilege. The NCAA Championships is probably one of the best track and field championships in the world outside of the World Championships and the Olympics. The NCAA is a stamping ground for a lot of the individuals we see in the Olympic Games."
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