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Stricklin Struggles at NCAA Championships : Track and field: Nerves doom Cal State Northridge junior in discus.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Teresa Stricklin of Cal State Northridge got her baptism by fire in the NCAA track and field championships at Boise State on Thursday.

Stricklin, a junior, threw a personal best of 164 feet 8 inches in the discus earlier this season, but she finished last in the 21-woman field at 127-3.

“She just freaked out,” Northridge assistant John Frazier said. “She just wasn’t into the competition like you need to be in this type of meet.”

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Frazier, the team’s weight-events coach, said that Stricklin looked fine during her warm-up throws, but came unglued during the competition.

“She told me that she was so nervous that she felt like she was about to throw up during each of her throws,” Frazier said. “Obviously, you’re not going to perform well under those circumstances.”

Stricklin fouled on her first throw, hit 127-3 on her second and failed to improve on her third.

The top nine throwers after the first three rounds advanced to the finals, where they each took three more throws.

Danyel Mitchell of Louisiana State threw 193-10 to win her second consecutive title.

“This is just a different type of meet,” said Frazier, who finished sixth in the shotput for UCLA in the 1985 NCAA meet. “If you’re not into it mentally, you’re going to get eaten alive. That’s what happened to Teresa.”

Stricklin, second on the all-time Northridge list in the discus, was making her first appearance in the NCAA championships. Frazier hopes she benefits from the experience.

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“I told her that I expect her to be back (in the NCAA championships) next year,” he said. “And that now she’ll know what to expect.”

Stricklin is one of three Northridge athletes who qualified for the meet, which ends Saturday.

The others are junior Kristin Dunn, who will compete in the women’s javelin today, and senior Joe Hicks, who is entered in the men’s shotput Saturday.

Dunn, who finished 13th in last year’s meet, is seeded third behind Canadian Valerie Tulloch of Rice and Jenny McCormick of Stanford.

Tulloch, second last year and the NCAA champion in 1992, has a season best of 186-3. McCormick placed fifth last season and threw a personal best of 179-5 to win the Pacific 10 Conference title.

Dunn threw a personal best of 174-9--topping her previous best by nearly 11 feet--in a meet at Cal State Long Beach last week.

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Hicks is ranked 14th in the 17-man shotput field with a personal best of 60-6 3/4.

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