Hahn captures heptathlon at SEC Outdoors

OXFORD, Miss.-- A team-record javelin throw propelled Vanderbilt's Josie Hahn to the heptathlon title at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday at the University of Mississippi.

OXFORD, Miss.-- A team-record javelin throw propelled Vanderbilt's Josie Hahn to the heptathlon title at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday at the University of Mississippi.

Hahn, a native of Clinton, Tenn., became the third Commodore to win an event at the SEC Outdoor Championships. The others to capture victories were Ryan Tolbert and Kylene Kownurko. Tolbert won the 400-meter hurdles in 1997 and 1998 while Kownurko captured the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2002.

Hahn's 5,492-point performance was a school record, topping her 5,444-point effort from the NCAA Championships last year. It also was gives Hahn a provisional standard for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

"I'm very happy to win the event. It was hoping to reach 5,500 points, but I'm still very pleased with the result," Hahn said.

Chelsea Hammond of South Carolina finished second with 5,235 points, followed by Latoya McBride of Ole Miss with 5,189 points.

Two other Commodores, sophomore Garnetta Holloway and senior Kyshia Ewing, finished eighth and ninth overall with 4,712 and 4,705 points, respectively. Each total is a personal best.

During the two-day competition, Hahn set five personal bests and three school records.

Hahn's superb showing came with disappointing efforts in the opening events both days. Starting the competition Friday with a slim lead, Hahn fell behind Hammond and or the second consecutive day, Hahn used a school-record effort one event after a sub-par performance. Holding the overall lead entering competition Friday, Hahn fell behind Hammond and McBride when she posted a sub-par long jump of just 17'1.75".

Maintaining her composure, Hahn went straight to the javelin event and uncorked the longest throw in team history on her first attempt. Her toss of 147'2" bettered the former record set in 1993 by Janis Rose by more than six feet.

"It was the same both days," Hahn said. "My start was kind of disappointing both days, but I tried to use it as motivation. It definitely spurred me to do better in the other events."

Hahn sealed the heptathlon victory in the 800 meters, finishing a close third in 2:21.3. The 800 was staged in a pouring rain.

Hahn, who earned 14 of Vanderbilt's 19 team points last year, has an excellent chance to garner more points for the Commodores. She appears as a serious contender in the individual high jump scheduled for Saturday and is ranked as the SEC's third best javelin throw. The javelin final will be held Sunday.


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