Carter Comito survived an early scare, then knocked out a big throw on his final attempt to win the men’s discus title at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships in Delaware, Ohio.
The Whitworth University sophomore threw 182 feet, 2 inches to beat runner-up Ben Stringer of Wisconsin-Whitewater by more than 10 feet.
The national Division III leader coming into the meet with a best of 194-11, Comito fouled on his first two attempts and was on the brink of elimination until reaching 166-5 on his last chance to advance. He moved from fourth into first with a 174-8 throw in the first round of the finals.
The Mead High School grad became Whitworth’s fifth Division III outdoor champion, and first national winner in the discus since Fred Shaffer won back-to-back NAIA titles 50 years ago.
Whitworth senior Elizabeth Mattila closed out her collegiate career with another school-record performance in the 400-meter hurdles, running 1 minutes, 1.09 seconds for sixth place.
Tonya Turner, who set school records on back-to-back days in the 1,500 and steeplechase, finished 10th in the 1,500 final.
• Washington State’s 400-meter relay team became the Cougars’ sixth qualifier for the NCAA championships by posting the eighth-best time at the West preliminary meet in Eugene, Ore.
The Cougars’ quartet of Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington, Brett Blanshan and Marlon Murray clocked 40.26 seconds, .03 ahead of rival Washington. The top 12 competitors in each event earned spots at the NCAAs in Des Moines, Iowa, next month.
In the 1,600 relay, WSU – with Hornsby subbing for injured Brandon Dawson – just missed being among the 12 qualifiers for nationals, running 13th in 3:09.39.
• Eastern Oregon’s Ryan Booth and Christine Eckstein each finished seventh in the men’s and women’s 800 meters, respectively, at the NAIA championships in Marion, Ind. Booth, from Post Falls, ran 1:51.44; Eckstein, a Community Colleges of Spokane grad, clocked 2:11.83.
The Washington State Cougars women advanced all three of their boats to today’s Petite Finals at the NCAA Rowing Championships at Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif.
WSU’s varsity 8 and varsity 4 boats both placed fifth, while the second varsity 8 boat finished sixth.
The top three boats in each heat advanced to today’s Grand Final.
The Washington Huskies will send two boats to the Grand Final and one to the Petite Final.
The Huskies’ varsity 8 boat placed third in its heat, behind California and Southern Cal. The varsity 4 boat was also third. The second varsity 8 boat placed fourth.
Chelsea Thomas allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out 13, and the Missouri Tigers (50-8) breezed to a 4-0 win over the Washington Huskies (37-14) in a Super Regional best-of-3 series opener in Columbia, Mo.
The Huskies have to win twice today to advance to the World Series.