EUGENE, Ore. – It has been a good season for OU’s Avione Allgood. On Wednesday night at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, good went to great as the Sooner sophomore finished as the national runner-up in the women’s javelin at historic Hayward field in Eugene, Ore. Allgood, who finished seventh last season, finished second with a throw of 182-4 and became a first team All-American for the second time in her career.
“I felt just like I did at Big 12 and I just threw all of my emotions,” Allgood said. “I tried to go for it. I wanted to win. I didn’t, but I am content with today. I am excited for more next year, but I am content with my results today.”
“It was an awesome job,” said OU throws coach Brian Blutreich. “Avione was seventh last year and her goal was to finish above seventh this year. Coming in second is just one step closer to winning.”
“She was a lot more confident this year with what she was doing after getting a taste of NCAAs last year. Her training has been going really well. She did what we have been doing in training and did a fabulous job.”
Allgood was in fourth place in her flight, the second of two, after her first throw of 167-1. She remained in fourth in her flight after her second throw, despite a significant improvement to 176-5. She ended up in fourth place of the nine who advanced to the final round. She recorded her best throw on her fourth throw of the competition. That throw jumped her up to second in the standings and ultimately was the best effort of the final three throws for the nine finalists.
With Allgood's finish, the Sooner women were tied for fourth place after day one with 8 points. The OU men will not have a chance for points until Saturday.
Not alone in the competition, Allgood was joined by sophomore Elizabeth Herrs and senior Ashley Kowalewski, the first time in program history that three athletes wearing an Oklahoma uniform have all competed in the same championship final.
Herrs, who came into the meet boasting the top throw in the country this season, finished her impressive season in 10th, the dreaded one spot short of the final. Herrs started slowly in the event, throwing her first two attempts well short of her personal best. The sophomore picked it up on her third, and what would be final attempt, throwing a distance of 166-0, finishing fourth in the first heat. For that finish, she earned second team All-America honors, her first time as an All-American.
“For Liz, this is a learning progression sport,” Blutreich explained. “You cannot just come out here and do this. She kind of went through it last year as a freshman and didn’t do well at Big 12s or regionals. This year she won the Big 12 and did really well at regionals. Today she just missed qualifying by one spot for the final. I think next year she will be here with a vengeance and she will be a scorer. She is doing great.”
Kowalewski, who earned her first trip to the national finals after throwing a personal best in the preliminaries two weeks ago, closed out a very respectable collegiate career finishing 22nd with a throw of 146-3 (44.59m). It was a career that started on the pole vault runway and ended in the NCAA meet in the javelin.
“Ashley is just a workaholic and getting here, for her to experience this whole atmosphere in Oregon, is a great way is a great way to go out as a senior,” Blutreich praised. “I always say that everyone needs to have a meet here at the University of Oregon to really know what track and field is about. She got to experience that as a senior.”
A pair of Sooners will be competing tomorrow in day two of the NCAA Finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Brandon Doughty, who holds the Oklahoma record, and Alex Deir will both be running in the race, which is slated to start at 7:35 p.m. CT. The top five in each of two heats plus the next two fastest times will advance to Saturday’s final. Live results will be provided by FlashResults. More information can be found at Meet Central.