Auburn Sophomore Wins NCAA Title With Record Toss

Sacramento, Calif.--Auburn sophomore Edis Elkasevic won his first national title as he finished first place in the shot put at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.

Elkasevic entered Friday night's final with the best throw and never surrendered his lead as he tossed the shot put a school record 68 feet, six inches.

Sheldon Battle of Kansas was a distant second with a toss of 66 feet, 7 1/4 inches. Elkasevic's SEC rival, Jeff Chakouian of Kentucky, took third with a toss of 64 feet, 8 3/4 inches.

"All I can say is that I am very happy," Elkasevic said. "I broke the Auburn and Croatian record and had my PR so I couldn't have asked for more.

"I had a good start in the qualifying round two days ago and competed yesterday in the discus. I was a little tired coming into today's final, but I just was able to put it together and give it my all and it came out as I had hoped. Now I just have to get rested for the discus final (Saturday)."

The Auburn men have 15 points and are tied for seventh place with Texas with 11 events completed. Arkansas leads with 32 points.

The Auburn women have nine points after eight events and are tied in 11th place with LSU. Texas is in first place with 31 points.

Also on Friday, Auburn's Cory Martin took fourth place for the men's team in the hammer throw with a personal record toss of 216 feet, nine inches. He fouled his first throw in the finals, but set a personal record on his next effort that was good enough for fourth.

Cory Martin earned All-America honors.

"It was a clutch throw," Martin said. "I competed well and came back strong after a disappointing qualifying round." He was the seventh best qualifier.

The women's team took a fourth place on day three of the competitor. Running the second fastest time in Auburn history, the 4x100 relay posted a 43.58 with Tamara Thomas, Jovanee Jarrett, Daniele Browning and Fana Ashby carrying the baton.

"We had a little trouble with the first handoff," head coach Ralph Spry said. "The last two exchanges went well though and overall the group race the best race I have seen them run this year.

"Fana Ashby anchored the relay and did a great job staying ahead of LSU, who finished just behind us," Spry added. "As usual, this was a very fast field and we are happy to come away with a season-best performance and one that ranks high on the AU all-time list."

Ashby also scored for AU in the 100 meters. The senior ran a time of 11.51 to take seventh place. Marshevet Hooker, a sophomore from Texas, won the race with a time of 11.16.

Josanne Lucas got a third school record for the Tigers as she ran a time of 55.66 in the 400-meter hurdles semi-finals. She has the fifth fastest qualifying time. Teammate Markita James (57.41) also ran a personal best time, but she didn't qualify for Saturday's finals.

In the men's 400-meter hurdles semi-final, Auburn's Reuben McCoy (50.19) qualified for the finals with a fourth place finish in his heat.

Also competing on Saturday will be the women's 4x400 relay team of Lucas, Tamara Thomas, Kareen Gayle and James.

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