NCAA Track and Field Championships : Rice’s Cavanaugh Wins the Women’s Shotput
Regina Cavanaugh of Rice, the three-time collegiate indoor women’s shotput champion, won her second straight NCAA outdoor title on Friday with a heave of 56 feet 9 1/2 inches.
The shotput was the first of 18 finals scheduled Friday.
In defending her championships, the 21-year-old Cavanaugh became the first to win two shotput titles in the five years that women have been competing in the meet.
Cavanaugh’s winning throw was two inches farther than her 1985 best attempt but was short of the meet-record 57-6 1/2 she threw during Wednesday’s qualifying.
It also was short of her goal of 58-1, her career best. She also had hoped to reach 59 feet and possibly 60 feet.
“I’m mentally prepared, physically ready, and I can do it,” Cavanaugh said after her record-breaking toss during the qualifying.
This was Cavanaugh’s final meet of the season, since she plans to attend school and work during the summer.
Cavanaugh has completed her indoor eligibility, but has one more year of outdoor competition.
Pam Dukes of Stanford finished second at 55-7 and Diana Clements of Southern California was third at 54-1 3/4.
“I didn’t have the excitement that there was last year when the girls were throwing 55 feet and I was doing 56 feet,” Cavanaugh said. “I didn’t feel pushed this year.”
Cora Aguilar’s failure to score in the women’s shot put meant that Oregon, the defending champion, would fail to score in this year’s meet. Aguilar was the last of Oregon’s three qualifiers in the meet.