June 7, 2012
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By Miquel Jacobs
DES MOINES, Iowa - South Carolina redshirt freshman Joshua Suttmeier was the second Gamecock in as many days to break a school record as he led the Gamecocks in day two of competition at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships held at Drake Stadium.
Suttmeier threw 238-6 (72.69m) - a personal best - on his first attempt of the day to break the 15-year old record of 237-4 that was set by Jason LaBarbera in 1997 and earn ninth place overall in the men's javelin throw. With his finish, Suttmeier will be named a USTFCCCA second team All-American next week, which will make him the first male All-American in the javelin throw in program history.
"I was really happy with my throw," Suttmeier said. "My season goal was around 73 meters, and I was definitely trying to get the school record, so I was happy about that. I'm happy with how things turned out (this season). I accomplished all of my goals except scoring. Hopefully in the future I can get to where I'm scoring and hopefully an eventual national championship."
The buzz at Drake Stadium early Thursday afternoon was about how the field in the javelin throw competition was the most competitive in NCAA history with the all-time marks available proving it. Unfortunately for Suttmeier, that meant that his mark of 238-6 - which would have placed fifth at the championships last season - fell one spot shy of scoring this year. Even more astonishing, in the full history of the javelin throw at the NCAA Championships, no mark over 238 feet (72.54m) has ever placed lower than sixth overall before this year's field blew those marks away.
"It was definitely a little bittersweet that I PR'd but missed scoring by one spot, but it was a tough field today," Suttmeier said. "Everyone threw real well. That makes it a little easier to take since everyone else did so well. I looked at the results from last year this morning, so after I hit it I figured I was good. Then I started to get a little nervous sitting there watching everyone else throw good throws too. I'm just glad I got to finals and got three more throws, but I definitely wished for a little more. Hopefully next year I'll get that."
The women's 4x400-meter relay team of Erika Rucker, Amber Allen, Christal Green and Nadonnia Rodriques took 11th overall in the semifinals at a season best time of 3:31.60. The team, consisted of one junior, one sophomore and two freshmen, bested the previous season high by two seconds with Rodriques running at 52.56 anchor leg.
Much like the javelin throw, the field for the women's relay was proven to be especially tough as the 3:31.60 that placed 11th marks the first time that the Gamecocks have run a sub-3:32.00 since the 2008 relay team of Brandi Cross, Faraign Giles, Gabby Glenn and Porche Byrd ran 3:30.78 to win bronze medal honors at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships that were also held at Drake Stadium.
The final day of competition for the Gamecocks comes Friday when Marvin Reitze and Jeannelle Scheper both hit the track at 4:30 p.m. (CT) for the men's pole vault and women's high jump, respectively. The meet will be webcast live on ESPN3.com.
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