NAMPA, Id. - Senior thrower Kevin Mays finished 10th in the weight throw with a mark of 66-04.25 at the NCAA National Championships on Saturday, just one spot shy of the finals.
Mays finished second-team All-American with his performance. He is the first indoor All-American, either first team or second team, since Abraham Mach in the 800m run in 2008.
"For Kevin to become an All-American is exciting for the program," director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. "It shows our student-athletes that our goals are achievable. That certificate doesn't come close to fully expressing how we feel about him and the long lasting impact he has made on this team and on this program."
After fouling on his first attempt and moving into 12th place with a mark of 65-00.75 on his second, he launched his best throw of the night with his third to move into ninth place. The top nine throwers advanced to the finals.
With just three throwers remaining in the second flight, Mays' mark of 66-04.25 stood at ninth, but Jay Gillespie of Michigan State recorded a mark of 66-11.50 to displace Mays into 10th.
Mays' performance this year exceeded last year's, in which he fouled three times at the national championship meet. Mays' trip to Nationals this season was the third season in a row in which a CMU student-athlete has competed at the meet.
"We saw a very focused Kevin Mays," Randolph said. "He knew he belonged here, he knew he could be on top of that award podium. It's just unfortunate he didn't have one more throw to get on that podium. We're so proud of him."
This competetion was just the second for Mays since last Wednesday, when he was cleared to compete after an 11-day period of inactivity due to a non-athletic medical condition.
"What he did to come out here and still be able to compete at a high level speaks volumes of this young man and his mentality," Randolph said. "He came in here and gave everything he had. We're proud of him and we're proud of coach Ridgway to help prepare him in that short time."
Marcel Lomnicky of Virginia Tech won the event with a mark of 72-03.75.
Mays and the rest of the track and field team will now turn their attention to the outdoor season. Mays will compete in the hammerthrow and the discus during the outdoor season.
The outdoor season begins March 23 at LSU and Stanford.