NCAA Women’s Discus — A Battle Of PRs At The Top

4th last year and 7th as a frosh, Laulaga Tausauga became Iowa’s first winner in any event since Nan Doak back in ’85. (MIKE SCOTT)

EXPECTED SHOWDOWN: Colorado State’s Shadae Lawrence vs. Iowa’s Laulauga Tausaga. Lawrence had won the Mountain West with a 213-5 (65.05) list leader, and 2 weeks later Tausaga beat her in leading the West Regional with a PR (62.69). However, in the first round of the big matchup, Florida State’s Shanice Love threw before them, and showed she would not be counted out with a PR 202-7 (61.74). That was a distance that would have won 9 of the last 10 NCAA titles (heck, 33 of the 37 ever). Tausaga followed with a 187-0 (57.01) and Lawrence 192-5 (58.65). At the end of the round they held the top three positions.

In round 2, Love, a junior from Jamaica, showed she really wasn’t kidding, as she lofted the platter even farther, a PR 205-8 (62.69). Tausaga responded with a PR bomb of her own, 207-6 (63.26), to take the lead. Nobody knew it, but the competition for the top spots had basically finished. In round 3, Alexandra Emilianov of Kansas moved into 3rd with her 193-3 (58.90), but Lawrence passed her back in stanza 5 with a 197-11 (60.32). She would stay in 3rd, missing a chance at an historic same-night double with her twin, triple jump winner Shardae.

Love finished out with a consistent series but only one more throw over 200, her 200-5 (61.08) in round 5. Three of Tausauga’s last four throws went foul, though she hit a 200-3 (61.04) in round 4. It didn’t matter. Her second round mark held up. The winning distance was the fourth-longest in meet history and Love’s mark the best runner-up toss ever.

Tausaga, who recently turned 21, was surprised to see her second lifetime best in a row. “When it comes to me throwing a PR and then trying to do something in the next 2 weeks, I usually struggle,” she admitted. “So with that throw, I felt it come off my fingers and I was like, ‘That’s the one.’ It was, and it was amazing. I was hoping to build on it and didn’t quite get to, but it still was amazing.”


NCAA WOMEN’S DISCUS RESULTS

FINAL

(June 08)

1. *Laulauga Tausaga (Ia) 207-6 (63.26) PR (AmCL) (10, x C; 8, x AmC; 4, 9 NCAA)

(187-0, 207-6, f, 200-3, f, f) (57.01, 63.26, f, 61.04, f, f);

2. *Shanice Love’ (FlSt) 205-8 (62.69) PR (6, x NCAA)

(202-7, 205-8, 199-1, 199-7, 200-5, 197-1) (61.74, 62.69, 60.69, 60.83, 61.08, 60.09);

3. Shadae Lawrence’ (CoSt) 197-11 (60.32)

(192-5, 181-5, 177-10, 191-9, 197-11, 196-9) (58.65, 55.31, 54.20, 58.44, 60.32, 59.98);

4. **Alexandra Emilianov’ (Ks) 193-3 (58.90)

(f, 179-10, 193-3, 181-11, f, 176-5) (f, 54.82, 58.90, 55.44, f, 53.79);

5. **Debbie Ajagbe (Mia) 186-9 (56.92) PR

(173-2, 181-1, 181-5, 175-6, 186-9, 171-3) (52.78, 55.21, 55.30, 53.50, 56.92, 52.20);

6. Venique Harris’ (Alb) 186-7 (56.89);

7. **Alyssa Wilson (UCLA) 186-0 (56.70);

8. Gabi Jacobs (Mo) 185-11 (56.68);

9. **Seasons Usual (TxT) 184-2 (56.14);

10. *Zakiya Rashid (Mia) 180-5 (55.01);

11. Kelcey Bedard (CoSt) 179-10 (54.83);

12. Abigale Wilson (Akr) 179-0 (54.56);

13. *Gabrielle Rains’ (FlInt) 178-7 (54.43);

14. *Sydney Laufenberg (IlSt) 177-11 (54.24);

15. **Annina Brandenburg’ (ACU) 176-5 (53.79);

16. Erin Reese (InSt) 175-6 (53.51);

17. Stamatia Scarvélis’ (Tn) 173-2 (52.78);

18. *Kiana Phelps (Or) 171-9 (52.36);

19. *Ashley Petr (KsSt) 169-11 (51.80);

20. **Chelsea Igberaese (Lib) 163-5 (49.80);

21. **Ashley Anumba (Penn) 162-9 (49.60);

22. **Makenli Forrest (Louis) 162-3 (49.47);

23. *Jaimi Salone (Stan) 153-5 (46.77);

… 3f—**Obi Amaechi (Prin).

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 2, 8–10)

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