Kent State's Matthias Tayala wins NCAA title in hammer throw

Record-Courier staff report Published:

Record-Courier staff report

EUGENE, Ore. -- Kent State junior Matthias Tayala unleashed a school-record heave of 241-4 on his sixth and final attempt to win the national title in the hammer throw at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday.

Golden Flashes sophomore Danniel Thomas also sparkled on Thursday, finishing second in the discus.

Tayala (McDonald High School) was sitting in third with one throw to go when he produced the winning effort, a toss that broke his own school record of 236-7 set earlier this season.

His throws were: round one: 230-8; round two: foul; round three: 224-10; round four: foul; round five: 231-2; final round: 241-4.

Earlier this season Tayala broke Kent State's 42-year-old hammer throw record that was previously held by Olympian Al Schoterman (1972, 231-3). He then won the hammer throw (229-5) and earned 23 points at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships, and was named the Great Lakes Men's Field Athlete of the Year.

Since the hammer throw is not an event in Ohio high school track, Tayala didn't begin to take the event seriously until he arrived on KSU's campus. He has improved by leaps and bounds during his Kent State career, but made a huge jump this season. Last year Tayala did not qualify for the NCAA Championships, and his personal best throw was 217-9.

Thomas (Jamaica) also unleashed her top throw on her final attempt at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, a heave of 187-4 that was nearly 12 feet better than her first five throws.

Senior Joh'Vonnie Mosley placed 23rd in the women's discus with a distance of 151-10.

On Wednesday, Roseanne Erickson earned Second Team All-American honors by finishing 11th in the long jump with a distance of 20-3.

Miles Dunlap took 20th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.60.

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