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Linfield trio seeking All-America status, including Bothell athlete
Comprising Linfield's largest delegation to the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships in three years, three Wildcats get the opportunity to go head-to-head against the nation's best beginning Friday at Ohio Wesleyan University's George Gauthier Track at Selby Stadium.
Junior javelin thrower Morgunn Ewing of Bothell is among the three that also include javelin thrower Kate Shear and hurdler Dallas Edge.
Ewing is also a rookie 100-meter runner, as he qualified for the meet for the first time in his young careers.
“It's really a testament of how hard they've worked all year,” said head coach Travis Olson of the three competitors. “They've really bought into the program.”
Qualifying on his second-to-last throw of the regular season at the Whitworth NCAA Final Qualifying Meet, Ewing became the first Wildcat male to earn a spot at the national championships since twin brothers Josh and Jeremy Lovell qualified for the decathlon in 2010.
Ewing enters the meet with the 15th best mark of any Division III competitor this year at 198 feet even (60.36 meters). He posted his highest finish at the conference meet this season, placing fifth.
Ewing has had his share of injuries and was not sure if he would be able to compete this season. Overcoming some occasional frustrations in working with coaches to break down his throw to eradicate certain habits from high school, the sophomore is putting it all together at the right time. Ewing's qualifying throw was a five-foot personal record and 15 feet farther than his best toss during the NWC Championships, moving him from ninth to fifth on Linfield's Top 10 list. A throw of more than 200 feet could result in All-America honors.
“Javelin is a freaky event because you can make such big jumps. It's very technical and it's a very intense movement … putting that all together is sometimes hit-or-miss,” Olson said. “Big jumps are not uncommon. Just being able to get more and more consistent with things within the throw is where you'll find people that separate themselves in competition.”