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Friday, June 7, 2013
Virginia Tech freshman Tomas Kruzliak won the hammer throw title Thursday at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore.
Kruzliak, a 21-year-old freshman from Slovakia, won his event with a heave of 227 feet, 3 inches. He achieved that distance on the second of his six attempts.
Remy Conaster of Southern Cal finished second (224-01).
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kruzliak was so dominant that he also had the second-best (226-8) and third-best (226-1) throws of the day.
"Nobody got that close to me, so I wasn't really afraid," Kruzliak said. "I could throw farther, maybe, if I would have more pressure.
"I was the smallest guy in the competition. In the hammer throw, it's not about size but more technique."
Tech's Dennis Mahmic finished 17th in the event (202-11).
Kruzliak became the sixth person in Virginia Tech history to win an NCAA track and field crown. Those six athletes have combined to win 14 NCAA titles, including seven hammer throw crowns.
That list includes Kruzliak's friend and fellow Slovakian, Marcel Lomnicky, who won both an NCAA weight throw title and an NCAA hammer throw crown during his Tech career.
Kruzliak claimed the Hokies' second NCAA title of the year. Alexander Ziegler concluded his Tech career by winning the weight throw at the NCAA indoor meet in March.
Also Thursday, Tech's Jeff Artis-Gray finished fifth in the long jump (25-9 1⁄4). He earned first-team All-America honors for the second time this year.
Tech's Grant Pollock finished 20th overall out of the 24 runners in the semifinals of the 1,500 meters with a time of 3 minutes, 45.34 seconds.
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