June 9, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - Jordan Clarke defended his NCAA outdoor shot put title and the Arizona State University track and field team finished competition Saturday at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Clarke found the extra gear yet again in a big-meet setting, launching his fourth throw 20.40m (66-11.25) to win the competition by over two feet. It was a new outdoor career-best for Clarke and he moved into third on ASU's all-time list in the process with the throw.
Clarke entered the final round of throws in fourth place after his prelim mark of 19.57m (64-02.50). Like his prior two national titles, Clarke dug down deep heading into the finals before launching a lifetime's best right out the gates for the decisive mark of the competition. In doing so, Clarke has now set personal records at each of his three NCAA Championships, winning all despite not coming in with the top rank, and has solidified himself as one of the most clutch throwers in the history of the NCAA.
It was the third consecutive shot put title for Clarke, who also won the 2011 outdoor championship and was the 2012 NCAA Indoor champion as well. He joins some elite company with the result, becoming just the fifth Sun Devil outside Linda Tolbert, Maicel Malone, Ryan Whiting and Jacquelyn Johnson to win three or more individual titles at an NCAA Championship competition.
With the victory, 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 800m crown being the other.
The ASU men finished the competition in 16th overall with 18 points while the women finished 24 with 13 points over the course of the four day event.
The Sun Devils will now set their sights to post-collegiate season events such as the U.S. Olympic Trials, the NACAC U-23 Championships and the Junior National and World Competitions, set to take place over the course of the summer at assorted venues.
SUN DEVIL NCAA PERFORMANCES
Jordan Clarke (1st/Shot Put/20.40m)
Derick Hinch (3rd/Pole Vault/4.50m)
Chris Benard (7th/Triple Jump/16.36m)
4x400m Relay [Burrows/Caesar/Kline/Henry] (10th/3:04.19)
Jordan Clarke (10th/Hammer/63.67m)
Bryan McBride (12th/High Jump/2.20m)
Chris Benard (16th/Long Jump/7.39m)
Chris Burrows (18th/200m/20.91)
Anna Jelmini (2nd/Discus/58.79m)
Keia Pinnick (5th/Heptathlon/5,671 points)
Christabel Nettey (8th/Long Jump/6.37m)
Constance Ezugha (11th/Long Jump/6.28m)
4x100m Relay [Gooden, Pinnick, Herring, Sanchez] (16th/44.84)
Anna Jelmini (Shot Put/18th/15.94m)
4x400m Relay [Tate/Herring/Winfrey/Sanchez] (20th/3:38.18)