ASU's Clarke repeats as NCAA shot put champ
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Jordan Clarke repeated as the NCAA outdoor shot put champion Friday as the Arizona State University track and field team finished competition Saturday at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Clarke, vying for his third national title, launched his fourth throw 20.40m (66-11.25) to win the competition by over 2 feet. It was a new outdoor career-best for Clarke, who moved into third on ASU's all-time list in the process.
Clarke entered the final round of throws in fourth place after his prelim mark of 19.57m (64-02.50). As was the case with his prior two national titles, Clarke had to come up big in the finals. In doing so, has has now set personal records at each of his three NCAA championship meets, winning each despite not coming in with the top ranking nationally.
It was the third consecutive shot put title for Clarke, who also won the 2011 outdoor championship and was the 2012 indoor champion as well. He joins some elite company with the result, becoming just the fifth ASU athlete -- along with Linda Tolbert, Maicel Malone, Ryan Whiting and Jacquelyn Johnson -- to win three or more individual NCAA titles.
The Sun Devils have now won the last four NCAA outdoor shot put competitions. Ryan Whiting went back to back in 2009 and 2010 before graduating and handing the crown off to Clarke in 2011. In addition, ASU has now won eight of the last 10 total shot put titles between the indoor and outdoor campaigns between Whiting and Clarke since 2008 -- all under the tutelage of throws coach David Dumble.
Clarke becomes just the 15th individual in NCAA history since 1921 to win back-to-back outdoor shot put titles. Clarke’s second title of the year is just the third for the Sun Devils in any sport during the 2011-12 season, with Mason McHenry’s indoor 800-meter crown being the other.
The ASU men finished the competition in 16th overall with 18 points, while the women finished 24th with 13 points over the course of the four-day event.