Shadae Lawrence Claims National Title in the Women’s Discus Throw

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY 4

EUGENE, Ore. – Sitting in second place heading into her final attempt, sophomore Shadae Lawrence stepped into the cage and unleashed a monster throw of 61.37m/201-04 to close out her series and claim the program’s first ever discus national title on Saturday at the NCAA Championships.

The ten points earned by Lawrence, coupled with the eight points freshman Nina Schultz earned for finishing runner-up in the heptathlon (5,959 pts.), propelled the 10th-ranked women to a ninth-place finish in the team standings with 25 total points. It is the third-straight season the Wildcats have finished in the top-10, making them one of seven programs to finish in top-10 over that three-year span. 

“The girls finished what has been a very good year on an even higher note,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Cliff Rovelto said about the women’s team’s effort in Eugene. “Nearly everyone finished as high or higher than their seed coming into the meet. For Shadae to win a national title as a sophomore and Nina to finish runner-up as a true freshman is special stuff. It is also the third-consecutive top-10 finish for the women at the NCAA Championships, which is also very special.”

Lawrence wasted no time jumping into the top-three in the discus throw, opening her series with a toss of 57.06m/187-02. The sophomore did not improve over her next two throws, but her opening mark was good enough to see her earn three more attempts in the finals.

She kicked off the finals with an improvement, tossing 57.63m/189-01 on her fourth throw to hold steady in third place. Her next mark was where the momentum began to change as she improved once again with a launch of 58.20m/190-11 to jump into second place over Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen. 

With one attempt remaining and Florida State’s Kellion Knibb holding the top spot, Lawrence let out her winning toss of 61.37m/201-04 on her final effort. She was forced to wait as both Ewen and Knibb threw, but they could not overcome her huge mark as she won the crown.

Lawrence closed out her season by winning all seven of the meets that she competed in, including a Big 12 and NCAA Championship. She also broke her own school record and the Jamaican national record (62.59m/205-04) as part of her historic season.

“During my last throw, I knew I had to have a big mark,” Lawrence said about her final attempt. “I had to get in a good position and throw with more intensity and that is what I did. All I was thinking was that I had to get over the 60-meter line. When I saw that it went over the line, I went crazy.”

Entering the day in fifth place overall in the heptathlon, Schultz was able to inch her way up the leaderboard in the long jump after she jumped 6.10m/20-00.25 on her second attempt in the series. The 880 points she earned for her top leap saw her move up two spots to third place with two events remaining.

The freshman dominated the field in the javelin throw, chucking the javelin 46.70m/153-02 on her second of three attempts in the event to take first and earn 796 points. She was one of only two competitors that eclipsed the 46-meter mark and the only one to eclipse that distance on all three attempts.

Holding a 68-point advantage heading into the 800-meter run, Schultz knew she needed a solid run to maintain her second-place position. She did just that, clocking a time of 2:21.97 to earn 797 points and secure her silver medal in the heptathlon with a final score of 5,959 points. Her efforts over the course of the two-day competition secured her First Team All-America honors.

“It feels good to improve on my finish from the indoor season,” Schultz said about her runner-up finish in Eugene. “In the end, it was not about points but competing against the other athletes in the field. I am going to learn from this experience as it was only my first Outdoor NCAA Championships. I am looking forward to getting back to work next season.”

K-State also saw a scoring performance from its 4x100-meter relay team, which had already made history by qualifying for the national meet for the first time in program history.

Racing in the first final in school history, Akia Guerrier, A'Keyla Mitchell, Ranae McKenzie and Claudette Allen finished in eighth place overall with a time of 45.00 to earn First Team All-America honors. The quad qualified for the final on Thursday after finishing in eighth place with a time of 44.27.

The Wildcats also had two triple jumpers in action on Saturday. Sophomore Shardia Lawrence took 23rd place with a final jump of 12.34m/40-06, while freshman Konstantina Romaiou finished in 24th place.

For the latest on K-State track and field follow @kstatesports and @KStateTFXC on Twitter or Kansas State Track & Field/Cross Country on Facebook.

NCAA Championships Day 4
Hayward Field
Eugene, Ore.

Women’s 4x100-Meter Relay
8. Guerrier-Mitchell-R. McKenzie-Allen – 45.00 (1 pt.)

Women’s Triple Jump
23. Shardia Lawrence – 12.34m/40-06
24. Konstantina Romaiou – FOUL

Women’s Discus Throw
1. Shadae Lawrence – 61.37m/201-04

Heptathlon Long Jump
5. Nina Schultz – 6.10m/20-00.25 (880 pts.)

Heptathlon Javelin Throw
1. Nina Schultz – 46.70m/153-02 (796 pts.)

Heptathlon 800-Meter Run
10. Nina Schultz – 2:21.97 (797 pts.)

Heptathlon Final Scores
2. Nina Schultz – 5,959 pts.