March 15, 2008
Complete Results |
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
The Auburn track and field team ended the NCAA Indoor Championships on a high note, as senior Jacob Dunkleberger finished second in the weight throw on Saturday.
Dunkleberger, who entered the meet ranked fourth in the field and was fifth at last year's NCAA indoor meet, improved on each of his six throws, finishing with a season-best mark of 22.24m (72-11.75). Two weeks after winning the SEC indoor championship, Dunkleberger should earn his sixth career All-American honor thanks to his runner-up finish.
"I'm pretty happy with my performance," said Dunkleberger. "Basically you just come in and try to throw your farthest and see what happens. I had to go after it. The idea is to put yourself in a position to be in the top three and hopefully it will work out, and it did today."
Dunkleberger, throwing in the first flight, improved gradually from 20.53m (67-4.25) to 21.12m (69-3.5) to 21.57m (70-9.25), putting him in fifth place entering the finals. On his first attempt of the finals, he moved up to second place with a throw of 22.09m (72-5.75), then improved his standing with a mark of 22.12m (72-7), before posting his top mark on his sixth and final throw.
"I wanted to establish a rhythm with the first three throws, and set myself up for the throws in the finals, and I was able to do that," said Dunkleberger. "The series I had in the first three throws was exactly what I wanted to do."
Egor Agafonov of Kansas finished first with a throw of 22.71m (74-6.25).
Auburn earned eight points in the team standings as a result of Dunkleberger's performance. He was the only Tiger competing during Saturday's final day of competition.
"Jake showed a lot of poise," said head coach Ralph Spry. "He lined it up well, and that was big for us to end on a positive note because of how the first day went. The last couple of years we've been pretty solid at the indoor meet, and this was just one of those years. But we've been looking ahead to the outdoor season all year, so Jake's performance today gives us something positive to take into the outdoor season. We're looking forward to getting it started."
The track and field teams will take next weekend off before beginning the outdoor season March 29 at the Yellow Jacket Invitational hosted by Georgia Tech.