UH's Murray makes discus finals
Hawaii senior Novelle Murray shook off some early nerves yesterday to pass the first test in her pursuit of a national title.
Murray, making her first appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, qualified for tomorrow's finals in the discus with a throw covering 172 feet, 11 inches. Her first throw of the meet at Sacramento State's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex was good for sixth place among the 28 entrants in the event. The top 12 advanced to the finals.
"She did what she needed to do to qualify so she's feeling really confident going into Friday," UH coach Carmyn James said. "You want to be safe and get them in, you don't want to go for an all-time big one because the number one thing is to qualify. So she knows there's more in her.
"She was kind of nervous before the meet, but she was very focused."
Murray entered the meet ranked third in the country with a personal best of 185-2, and was expected to duel top-ranked Sarah Stevens of Arizona State for the title. But Stevens, who edged Murray for first place at the West Regionals last month, failed to qualify for the finals.
Tomorrow's finals begin at 12:15 p.m. Hawaii time. A UH track athlete hasn't won a national title since Gwen Loud won the long jump in 1984.
UH junior Annett Wichmann starts competition in the heptathlon today. The two-day event begins with the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200-meter dash.