National Champion

Alabama junior Beth Mallory more than just won the Crimson Tide's first track and field national championship since 1989 when she took first place in the discus at the NCAA Outdoor Championship Friday. She completely dominated the field from start to finish at Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State campus, winning by more than seven feet.

"I came to this meet to bring home the gold and that's what I've done," Alabama women's track and field star Beth Mallory said minutes after winning. "It's an awesome feeling."

Mallory was fourth coming out of the preliminaries, but came out swinging today, with an effort good enough to win the event with her very first throw. It was her third try though, a monster effort of 194 feet, nine inches that sealed the deal, giving her the title over Florida senior Rachel Longfors, who was second with a 187-07.

"My attitude all along has been that it's up to me," Mallory said. "I wanted to come in here and throw my best. That's what it's all about; it's about improving yourself, getting better each step of the way. If you do that, the winning will follow. "

Mallory's title is the 13th for Alabama's women, and first under head coach Sandy Fowler. It comes on the heals of her Southeastern Conference and NCAA MidEast Regional discus titles.

"This absolutely feels fantastic," Alabama head coach Sandy Fowler said. "It's more than deserved. She has worked hard, put in the time and really believed in herself. I can't think of a better, more deserving individual. She has earned her success."

Not only did the Ashland, Ohio native sweep the three postseason discus titles, she also shattered the Alabama school record, bettering Pia Iacovo's 1983 mark of 192-01 by more than two feet. It was also Mallory's personal best by more than three feet.

"It's about time, that's exactly what I said to Coach Fowler," Mallory said with a laugh. "That's one I've been waiting to break. It's been a long time coming."

And she isn't done yet. She will compete in the finals of the hammer throw, an event that she won at the NCAA MidEast Regional, and currently sits in fourth place in after the preliminaries.

"I'm ready to go," she said of the hammer finals. "I had a good practice and I'm ready, I'm looking to PR just like I did today

Before today, Flora Hyacinth's 1989 indoor triple jump title was the last NCAA crown won by the Tide while Pauline Davis' 400m dash title was the last NCAA outdoor title. Mallory's is the first discus crown Alabama has won.


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