MARION, Ind. – Oregon Tech’s Joelle Swanson opened up the 2012 NAIA National Track & Field Championships with an 8th place overall finish in the javelin to give the Owls their first points at the national meet.
On Thursday, in the first national meet of her career, Swanson set a career-best mark in the javelin with a throw of 140-01, which also propelled the first-year field athlete to All-American status. The throw, nearly four feet farther than her previous best at the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships, currently ranks her fifth on the Oregon Tech all-time list.
Seeded in the 2nd flight with the top javelin throwers in the country, Swanson unleashed a throw of 42.69 meters (140-01) in just her second try. Swanson’s best effort in the remaining four throws was 42.27 meters.
Swanson finished seven feet ahead of ninth place finisher, Kim Schulz, of Dickinson State, in the event won by Baker University sophomore Stephanie Nelson with a toss of 149-06.
In her second national meet, Oregon Tech sophomore Kassi Conditt competes in the shot put on Friday at 10 a.m. PST. Conditt is scheduled in the third flight of the event where she will compete against 25 other participants. Conditt will look to better a 7th place finish at last year’s national event.
The Tech Marathon duo of Kirby Garlitz and Scott Minor conclude action for the Owls on Saturday morning at 3 a.m. PST.