June 4, 1999
BOISE, Idaho - Husky sophomore Justin St. Clair today earned All-American honors in the javelin at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Boise State University's Bronco Stadium, finishing 12th in the event with a 219-foot, one-inch throw. The top nine throwers advanced to the finals.
It was the first All-American honor for St. Clair, who was making his NCAA championships debut.
In addition to the All-America accolade, St. Clair becomes a part of the remarkable javelin history at Washington, which has seen a Husky men's or women's javelin thrower place 13th or better in 16 of the 18 years since the NCAA began sponsoring women's sports in 1982.
Needing a throw of 222-6 to advance to the finals, St. Clair fought a stiff wind with his longest throw of the day, landing just three feet shy of the final-round cutoff. His 12th-place finish is the highest by any Husky competitor thus far at the national meet.
"This was a learning experience for him," said longtime Husky assistant coach Ken Shannon. "He wasn't very relaxed today, but he's young. He has two more years and he'll learn, he'll relax."
The sophomore entered the national meet ranked 12th in the nation with a career-best throw of 231 feet, 3 inches in a victory over Washington State that ranks as the ninth longest in Husky history, the longest by any Washington athlete since 1996.
St. Clair, a product of Tacoma's Franklin Pierce HS, burst onto the national scene this spring by adding 17 feet to his previous career best and taking third place at the Pac-10 championships with a 224-foot, 5-inch throw, after finishing seventh in 1998.
The Pac-10 athlete of the week for April 6, St. Clair ran off a remarkable streak of five consecutive javelin victories to open the season before placing second at the prestigious Drake Relays. The sophomore finished the season with seven wins in 11 events, and never placed lower than third entering the national meet.
The Huskies close competition at the 1999 NCAA Championships Saturday when freshman Cecelia Barnes makes her NCAA debut in the discus. Barnes added eight feet to her previous best at this year's Pac-10 Championships, placing second to defending national champion Seilala Sua of UCLA with a qualifying throw of 175 feet, eight inches.