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Shot Put All-American Mariam Kevkhishvili

Saturday June 9, 2007Kevkhishvili Earns All-America Honors In Shot Put At NCAA Outdoor Championships

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

Shot Put All-American Mariam Kevkhishvili

Freshman Mariam Kevkhishvili (Tbilisi, Georgia) earned All-America honors in the shot put as the Gators finished tied 46th at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex on Saturday in front of a crowd of 10,165.

 

Despite the tragic loss of head coach Tom Jones, a youthful Gator squad that featured just two seniors battled hard throughout the 2007 season, which the team dedicated to Jones, and finished tied 46th with five points at the NCAA Championships. Arizona State won the meet with 60.

  

“This was a good way for us to finish the competition,” Florida women’s interim head coach Steve Lemke said. “I’m sure Mariam would tell you even though she’s competed in the Olympics that the NCAA meet is such a high pressured event. For her to move from eighth to sixth on her last throw of the competition, and with her second-best throw ever, it shows a lot about Mariam’s competitive spirit.

 

“As a team we didn’t accomplish all that we wanted to, but I’m really proud of the whole women’s team for their effort, composure and class that they have shown throughout a very difficult season.”

 

Kevkhishvili, the only freshman in the shot put final, notched All-America honors in the event by recording a mark of 16.81m/55-2.0 to finish sixth. Going into her final throw of the competition Kevkhishvili was in eighth position with a toss of 16.23m/53-3, but recorded the second-best throw of her career on the final attempt improving her mark in the competition by almost two feet to move up two places in the standings. Kevkhishvili finished one spot ahead of the seventh seed she held entering the NCAA meet and three positions ahead of her 10th place standing after the qualifying round.

 

Having already earned All-America distinction during the indoor season, Kevkhishvili becomes the first Gator since Kim Barrett in 2004 to achieve the feat in the shot put during the outdoor season. Barrett was also the last Gator before Kevkhishvili to earn both indoor and outdoor shot put All-American honors in the same season. The finish of sixth by Kevkhishvili scored three points for UF in the team standings.

 

Kevkhishvili joins the Gators’ 4x100m relay team of junior Abigail David (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago), Natalie Knight (Snellville, Ga.), Lakecia Ealey (Albany, Ga.) and Zan Joseph (Boynton Beach, Fla.) as the Gators five All-Americans for the 2007 outdoor season. Along with Kevkhishvili in the indoor shot put and junior Natalie Moser (Tampa, Fla.) in the indoor pole vault, Florida finishes the year with six All-Americans earning seven honors in three events.

 

Women’s Team Standings (21 Events Scored):

1. Arizona State 60; 2. LSU 53; 3. Michigan 36; 4. Texas A&M 34; 5. UCLA 30; 6. Texas 29; 7. Southern California 27; 8. California 26; 9. Georgia 24; 10. Stanford 10. Texas Tech 23; 46. Florida 5.

 

Women’s All-Americans (5 athletes, 2 events):

Abigail David, Natalie Knight, Lakecia Ealey, Zan Joseph – 4x100m

Mariam Kevkhishvili – Shot Put

 

-UF-

          

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