Fayetteville, Ark. - Senior Shawn Johnson narrowly missed qualifying for the NCAA Championship after competitors in the third and final flight of today's discus competition at the NCAA West Regional pushed him just outside the magic number of 16 that advance in each event.
Johnson entered the competion ranked 33rd in the region, but his best throw in Fayetteville of 54.21 meters (177'10") left him in second place after the first flight, sixth place after the second flight and 19th place after all 48 throwers had completed the three flights.
"Shawn had a great meet and competed really well," UND head coach Kevin Galbraith said. "He came in and did a great job. We were thinking there was a chance for him to advance to nationals, but some guys in that third flight just threw some bombs to edge him out."
It would have taken a career best for Johnson to have reached one of those top 16 spots as Paul Thomas of Wyoming was the last to qualify with a throw of 54.85 meters (179-11").
Johnson, who was competing in his final collegiate meet, had a career best of 54.42 meters (178-6") entering the weekend. The Eveleth, Minn., native was the top Big Sky finisher in the meet, edging Northern Arizona's Micael Lunjberg, who had held the league's top mark and won the Big Sky title two weeks ago.
-- UND --