ASU’s Clarke wins national title in shot put

NAMPA, Idaho. — Arizona State junior shot putter Jordan Clarke set a new personal best by over a meter at the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday and won his first indoor national title in the process.

Clarke entered the weekend’s competition as the No. 8 seed in the event but saved his best for last — literally. Clarke launched his sixth and final throw of the competition 20.86 meters (68-05.25) to jump over Florida’s Kemal Mesic, the national leader entering the weekend, for his second national crown and first indoor first-team All-America award.

The junior out of Anchorage, Alaska, posted four consecutive indoor personal bests in the competition en route to his climactic final toss. Even more impressive for Clarke was just how big of a personal record it was — his indoor best entering the meet was just 19.44m (63-09.50).

Clarke topped that mark on his third attempt of the day with a throw of 19.60m (64-03.75) before ripping off throws of 19.69m (64-07.25), 19.95m (65-05.50) and the final throw of 20.86m (68-05.25), a mark that ranks second in ASU indoor history behind only the collegiate record set by Ryan Whiting of 21.73m (71-03.50).

It was a bit of déjà vu for Clarke, who entered the NCAA Outdoor Championships last year as the No. 7 seed before upsetting the field on his fifth throw for his first national crown.

Clarke’s performance marked an end to a monumental day for ASU throwing as a whole.  Earlier in the day, Whiting won the World Indoor Championship in the shot put in Istanbul, Turkey, with a new career-best throw of 22.00m (72-02.25).