May 28, 2011
TURLOCK, Calif. - Western Washington University's Monika Gruszecki (Sr., Edmonds/Meadowdale) began and ended her career with national crowns as she threw a school-record 163-6 to win the women's javelin title in final-day action Saturday at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track and Field Championships being held at Al Brenda Track at Warrior Stadium on the campus of host Cal State Stanislaus.
Gruszecki (pronounced Grew-SHET-ski) also was a national champion for the Vikings as a freshman in 2007. She placed second at nationals in 2008.
Gruszecki, a senior from Edmonds where she graduated from Meadowdale High School, opened the competition with a throw of 154-0. The winning effort came on her next attempt, that going six-feet, seven inches further than her previous personal-best.
"That throw just obliterated the competition," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell (24th year).
"You don't feel a thing when you hit it just right," said Gruszecki. "It was almost effortless ... This has been coming all season, and this was the competition I came in the freshest for."
Gruszecki, who has dual citizenship, plans to spend next year training to qualify for the Polish Olympic team.
"This was a nice capstone, but I'm not done yet," she said. "Javelin throwers peak when they're older, so I have a long ways to go."
Her mark of 163-6 is the best by a Western thrower since the javelin was redesigned in 1999 for safety reasons. Western's Joan Williamson won the NAIA national title in 1984 with a throw of 166-6.
Placing second and third behind Gruszecki were two Seattle Pacific athletes. Brittany Aanstad was the runner-up at 151-1, followed by Carly Andrews at 144-9.
Aanstad entered the competition ranked No.1 with Gruszecki No.2 on a throw of 156-11 to win the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title.
It was the third trip to nationals for Gruszecki who transferred to Philipps University in Germany for the 2008-09 school year before returning to Western.
Gruszecki becomes just the second Western athlete to win more than one individual national title. Men's pole vaulter Ryan Brown (Sr., Bellingham/Squalicum) has three and is going for his fourth tonight. He has won two indoor national titles and one outdoor crown.
On Thursday, Viking distance runner Sarah Porter (Sr., Hockinson) won the national title in the women's 10,000 meters. Her time of 33:17.39 was a meet record and the fourth fastest in NCAA II history.
Pair of Vikings Earn All-America Honors at NCAA Championships
Junior Alex Barry places 4th in men's javelin, sophomore Raquel Pellecer finishes 6th in women's javelin
Paradee Competes in Pole Vault at NCAA Championships
Senior Anna Paradee finishes with a no height at national championships in North Carolina
Vikings to Compete at NCAA Championships on Thursday and Saturday
Four WWU student-athletes will be in action at the NCAA Championships in North Carolina
Track & Field Places 21 on GNAC All-Academic Teams
Vikings have 13 women, eight men recognized as GNAC All-Academic honorees
Four Vikings Headed to NCAA Championships
Anna Paradee, Raquel Pellecer, Natalie Vetto and Alex Barry to compete at NCAA II Championships
Seven Vikings Earn USTFCCCA All-Region Recognition
Four WWU women, three WWU men honored with All-West Region accolades
WWU Men Place 2nd, Women 4th at GNAC Outdoor Championships
Sophomore Cordell Cummings wins 110m hurdles conference title among strong Saturday performances
WWU Men 3rd, Women 4th After Friday Events at GNAC Outdoor Championships
Junior Maddie Taylor becomes conference high jump champion during Friday's competition
Track & Field Travels to GNAC Outdoor Championships
The GNAC Outdoor Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Western Oregon University
Vikings Turn in Strong Performances at Ken Shannon Invite
WWU adds eight program top-10 marks in final meet before GNAC Outdoor Championships
WWU Travels to Ken Shannon Invitational on Friday and Saturday
The Ken Shannon Invitational is the last meet for WWU before the GNAC Outdoor Championships
Dances Leads Vikings at GNAC Combined Event Championships
Freshman Seren Dances places 8th to lead three WWU decathletes in Idaho
Emily Sytsma Named GNAC Women's Track Athlete of the Week
Sytsma won the 100m with a personal-best time, also competed in 200m and 4x400m relay last Saturday
WWU Has Strong Showing at 37th Annual Ralph Vernacchia Meet
Senior Brandon Pless records provisional-qualifying hammer throw mark, Vikings sweep team titles
WWU Hosts 37th Annual Ralph Vernacchia Meet on Saturday
The Vikings compete at Civic Stadium for the second of two meets in Bellingham during the season