Appanaitis Headed to NCAA National Championships to Compete in the Javelin

RENO, Nev. Senior thrower Inger Appanaitis will compete in the NCAA National Track and Field Championships June 12 and 14 in Des Moines, Iowa.  The meet, which is hosted by Drake University, will be held at Drake Stadium. 


Appanaitis qualified for the National Championships at the 2008 West Regional NCAA Track and Field Championships in Northridge, Calif. on May 31.  Appanaitis finished third in the javelin with a throw of 48.35m (158’07”) and was named to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association’s All-Region Team for the West Region.  The top eight athletes at the nation’s four Regional meets automatically qualify for the NCAA National Championships. 


“This is an exciting time for our program.  Inger has put an unbelievable exclamation point her senior season, with the many accolades she has accomplished not only during this season but her but her entire career at Nevada,” head coach Shantel Twiggs said.  “She has stuck with the program through its many changes, she has accepted her role as a leader and captain, and her performances have always been solid.  She will be difficult to replace.  Her chances at the National Championships are tremendous and she should return with additional accolades.  But, it has been Inger who has made this an unbelievable ride.”


The prelims of the javelin are scheduled for Thursday at 12:15 p.m. PT with each athlete seeded based on her season best mark.  Appanaitis’ season-best mark is 168’00” which she recorded at the 2008 WAC Outdoor Championships.


Twenty-eight athletes are scheduled to compete in the javelin.  Each athlete will get three throws in the prelims and the top 13 will advance to the finals on Saturday at 11 a.m. PT.  The athletes will again get three throws in the finals and the top nine will advance to the final round where each athlete will again get three throws. 


Appanaitis also has a chance to be named an All-American.  The top eight American finishers at the NCAA National Championships plus any foreign finishers in the middle will earn All-America honors.  Heading into Nationals, Appanaitis is ranked 12th in the nation with four foreign athletes ahead of her. 


She is the fourth athlete in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the javelin and is the first athlete in school history to qualify in the event more than once.  The others are Beth Sandy (1999), Samantha Young (2003) and Caira Hane (2004). This season’s appearance in the National Championships will mark the second career trip for Appanaitis she was an at large selection in the javelin in 2006 and finished 17th overall. 


Up next for Appanaitis will be the US Olympic Trials June 27-28 in Eugene, Ore.  She recorded an Olympic B Qualifying mark in the javelin (168’00”) at this season’s WAC Outdoor Championships. 


Appanaitis, who is the school record holder in the javelin (169’5”), has earned several honors this season including serving as a team captain, being named the women’s high point winner at this season’s WAC Outdoor Championships (23 points), placing first in the javelin at the 2008 WAC Outdoor Championships, being named to the USTFCCCA All-Region Team, earning CoSIDA Academic All-District second team honors and becoming the first athlete in school history to record regional qualifying marks in the javelin, hammer throw, discus and shot put.  This outdoor season, she also set personal bests in the hammer throw (55.96m, 183’07”), the discus (47.38m, 155’05”) and the shot put (14.45m, 47’5.00”).


Drake University officials are expecting 1,088 athletes representing 200 schools to compete in this season’s National Championships.  Friday’s events will be televised by CBS College Sports Network (formerly CSTV) from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. PT and Saturday’s final session will be televised by CBS between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. PT. 



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