EUGENE, Ore. – The final day of the men’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships ended with a bang for the Cavaliers as Claudio Romero captured the NCAA discus title in a thrilling competition at Hayward Field on Friday night.
Romero entered the competition in the midst of a monster season in the discus for the Wahoos. The sophomore spent the vast majority of the campaign ranked in the nation’s top-two, enduring a season-long battle against Cal’s Mykolas Alekna. The two met head-to-head for the first time at the NCAA Championships.
Romero’s best mark came on his second throw of the evening as he unleashed a throw of 66.17 meters (217’1”) to edge out Alekna by two centimeters heading into the finals. The competitors traded throws in the final rounds, but the title was sealed before Romero stepped into the ring for the final time as Alekna could not best the leading mark.
“I feel really good,” said Romero. “Sometimes even the best athletes come short of the NCAA Championship. Being able to call myself that is definitely one of the milestones of my athletic career that I wanted to check as soon as possible.” he added.
Romero becomes the second Cavalier to earn the right to call himself an NCAA Discus Champion. He joins Filip Mihaljevic who accomplished the feat in 2017. The Chilean also joins a club of just four Cavaliers to be named a first team All-American on more than one occasion in the discus. The individual championship is the fourth among UVA throwers in the tenure of assistant coach Martin Maric, who works primarily with the Virginia throwers.
Jacob Lemmon also competed in the discus in his second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships. Lemmon finished 15th in the competition with a mark of 56.77 meters (186’3”). Lemmon records All-American honors for the second-consecutive season.
With 18 points the Cavaliers placed 14th overall to record their best finish since the 2017 season, and the third-best finish all-time. Among ACC teams, Virginia was only outscored by Florida State who finished fourth with 33 points.
From Director of Track & Field Vin Lananna:
“Congratulations to our throwers on their outstanding performances and to Claudio for capturing an NCAA Championship. We are laying the foundation to build a special program at the University of Virginia, and we will keep chipping away at it step by step.”
The Virginia women will close out their season on the final day of competition tomorrow (June 11) as Ashley Anumba battles in the women’s discus at 5:05 p.m. ET