Tarasova Makes NCAA Hammer Throw Finals

June 10, 2009

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On the first day of the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Kansas senior Zlata Tarasova advanced to the finals of the women’s hammer throw by posting a mark of 57.34 meters (188-01 feet) on her first attempt Wednesday at John McDonnell Field. Tarasova finished fourth in the first flight of preliminaries and 11th overall to move on to the finals.

“It feels really good because I wasn’t expecting it,” Tarasova said of advancing. “It was a big surprise when they told me that I made it. It’s really exciting.”

Tarasova, a native of Togliatti, Russia, said that she felt prepared going into the prelims.

“Yesterday I felt really good when I worked out and did some drills,” she explained. “I thought I was going to feel really good today. When I started to throw the hammer during warm-ups, my body felt perfect but the speed was slow. So I’m probably going to work on it Friday. Today, everything went well, but it was really slow.”

Heading into the finals, Tarasova is looking to do something she has never done during her decorated Kansas career.

“I have always wanted to be an All-American,” she explained. “I’ve made it to the National Championships three times, but I’ve never been an All-American. I’ve been a Big 12 Champion and a regional champion, but never been All-American, so it’s always been my goal. But I have nothing to lose right now so I’m just going to have fun.”

The finals of the women’s hammer throw are scheduled to take place Friday at 11 a.m. CDT.

On Thursday, Nickesha Anderson, Lauren Bonds and Keith Hayes will all be in action for the Jayhawks. Anderson will run in the prelims of the women’s 200 meters at 6:10 p.m. CDT, Bonds will run the prelims of the women’s 1,500 meters at 7:55 p.m., and Hayes will compete in the men’s 110-meter hurdles prelims at 5:50 p.m.

Live stats and results can be found at http://www.flashresults.com/2009_Meets/outdoor/NCAA/. A live webcast can be viewed at http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=ncaa&media=129516. Full results can be found at www.kuathletics.com as well as http://www.ncaa.com/loc/ncaa-c-otrack-loc.html upon completion of each day’s events.