Jayhawk Discus Throwers Compete on Day 3 of NCAA Championships

NCAA Track & Field Championships
Hayward Field // Eugene, Oregon

Sophomore Nicolai Ceban claimed 13th in the discus Friday at the NCAA Championships.
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EUGENE, Ore. – For the second-consecutive season junior Mitch Cooper earned second team All-America honors, while sophomore Nicolai Ceban accomplished the feat for the first time as both took part in the discus competition Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships inside Hayward Field. Cooper turned in a 10th-place finish while Ceban claimed 13th, marking the fifth year since 2010 Kansas has seen at least one Jayhawk earn first or second team All-America honors in the discus.
Both Jayhawks entered the day ready to wrap up stellar seasons that saw them both post some of the top marks in school history. Cooper’s best toss of the year, a school record throw of 62.56 meters (205’3″), made him the No. 3 ranked thrower in the NCAA heading into the national meet. Ceban’s top throw of the year, 58.77 meters (192’9″), ranked him sixth in school history and sat him as the No. 12 seed before he took the Hayward Field discus ring Friday evening.
Both Jayhawks competed in the second of two 12-man flights and each got their days out to solid starts. Cooper’s first heave of the day flew out to 57.21 meters (187’8″) and pushed him in seventh on the leaderboard. Ceban wasn’t far behind his elder teammate, turning in a first-attempt throw of 56.74 meters (186’2″), good enough to sit him 10th after the first round of throws.
Cooper improved on his second throw, pushing the discus out to 57.39 meters (188’3″) and maintaining his position inside the top-nine as he headed into the third and final round of attempts.
Meanwhile, Ceban was unable to up his standing after he clipped the netting of the cage on his second attempt, resulting in a foul.
Unfortunately for both Jayhawks, neither were able to elevate themselves during the third round. Cooper’s third toss was not an improvement, while Ceban committed a foot foul and was unable to post a mark.
Cooper narrowly missed earning three more attempts in the finals, coming within 15 inches from a spot inside the all-important top-nine and claiming a 10th-place finish. Ceban ended his sophomore campaign with a 13th-place finish after taking 21st in the event a year ago.
Both Jayhawks claimed second-team All-America honors in the event. It marked the first time since 1970 that multiple Jayhawks earned a spot on the first or second All-America squad in the discus in the same year.
The NCAA Outdoor Championships are now down to their final day with the final women’s events set to wrap up Saturday. Kansas will once again see a pair of discus hurlers in action when seniors Dasha Tsema and Daina Levy journey into the Hayward Field throws ring. The event is set to begin at 5:05 p.m. (CT). Follow at @KUTrack on Twitter for updates throughout the competition and log on to KUAthletics.com for a complete recap and results.
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