THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
Watson Finishes 13th in Hammer Throw at NCAA Championships
PUEBLO, Colo. (Men’s Track & Field) – Florida Tech graduate student Ja’Mar Watson recorded a throw of 59.07 meters in the hammer to finish 13th at the NCAA Division II Championships Thursday at the DeRose ThunderBowl.
Watson, the track & field program’s first national qualifier, hurled the hammer 59.01 meters in his first attempt. He then earned a mark of 57.19 meters in his second try before posting what would be his best throw of the event.
“He had three good throws, they just weren’t good enough to propel him into the finals,” head coach Pete Mazzone said. “He talked to a few of the other participants, and they said a throw of 56 meters was good enough to advance to the finals last year, so it was a pretty stacked field.
“I’m very proud of him, and I know Florida Tech is very proud of him. It’s a big deal to send a guy to nationals especially considering this is truly the first year of our program.”
Watson was a standout performer the entire season for the Panthers. He won seven events, including three in his FIT debut, and placed second three times. His season-best in the hammer was 61.0 meters at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational.
“Ja’Mar’s done a great job for us,” Mazzone said. “The kind of exposure he’s generated for our program is tremendous. We’ve been receiving phone calls frequently from prospective student-athletes. This is a huge accomplishment for him and our program.”
Watson previously qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships two times at his former institution, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. At the championships last May, he placed 13th in the hammer at 55.97 meters.
“Ja’Mar showed our other athletes that you need to work hard to get here,” Mazzone said. “This year, we had some runners that were close to qualifying. They have the ability to compete at this level.”
The top eight participants in the hammer throw earned All-America. Winning the event for the third consecutive time was Ashland’s Ryan Loughney at a season-best 70.74 meters. He entered the competition having recorded the farthest throw at the Division II level this season, 70.15 meters.