Ryan Davis hammer throw

Senior thrower Ryan Davis looks on toward his attempt during the hammer throw event. 

East Carolina University senior thrower Ryan Davis and junior pole vaulter Sommer Knight participated in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Outdoor Championships on June 9 and June 10 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Both athletes have had strong performances all season and after the East Preliminary meet, the pair represented the East Carolina Pirates track and field team on the national stage.

On June 9, Davis participated in the hammer throw and his best throw was his second attempt, a mark of 68.79 meters, which placed him 18th overall. His other two attempts were marks of 66.54 meters and 66.11 meters, respectively. 

Davis barely missed out on being named an All-American, an honor only given to the top 16 places. 

On June 10, Knight earned third place and set a personal-best and a new school-record in the pole vault with a jump of 4.35 meters. This jump broke her previous school-record of 4.28 meters, which won her the title in the American Athletic Conference Championship on May 15. 

With this feat, she earned First-Team All-American honors and became the third athlete in ECU women’s track and field history to earn first-team honors. 

Knight cleared 4.05, 4.20 and 4.30 meters before her first miss of the day at 4.35. On her second attempt, she was able to clear the mark and move on to 4.40 meters. 

Out of the five athletes who reached this mark, only senior jumper Lisa Gunnarsson from Louisiana State University cleared it to claim the title at the nation’s top collegiate pole vaulter. 

Both Davis and Knight won their respective events at the AAC Championships and both were also recognized for the two Most Outstanding Performances of the AAC outdoor season. 

Davis took home the title in the hammer throw with a school-record and conference-record throw of 70.77 meters. He also won the discus title with a throw of 54.89 meters, but did not participate in the event during the national meet. Davis qualified for the East Prelims in both the hammer and the discus and performed well enough in the hammer throw to qualify for nationals.

In the preliminary meet, he threw for 65.70 meters in the hammer throw and finished in 10th place on May 26. He followed it up on May 28 with a 53.39 meter throw in the discus, which placed him 23rd overall, outside of the top 12 position required for national qualification. 

Knight won the pole vault title in the AAC Championships. She followed that up on May 27 with a mark of 4.17 meters and a 12th place finish in the East Prelims, which won her a ticket to the national meet.

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