Jones Wins National Title in Weight Throw, Ramsey All America in 5k
St. Lawrence University senior Eric Jones became the Saints' first field event national champion since pole vaulter Alex Grelland in 1989 when he won the NCAA Division III weight throw championship at Depauw University on Friday.
Junior Dan Ramsey became an All America in the second straight season on Saturday, following his 4th place finish in cross country in the fall with a fifth in the 5000 meters at the indoor championships. He was just over four seconds off the winning pace, running 14:52.15. Kyle Brady of North Central won the race in 14:47.97.
The 14 points earned by Jones and Ramsey placed the Saint team 11th in a 65 team field in the team scoring.
Jones, who was second in last year's championships, threw the 35 pound weight 19.13 meters (62-9.25) to win the 14-competitor event by .24 meters. Sean Larson of Wisconsin Stout finished second with a throw of 18.89 meters.Jones is the second male thrower to win a national championship, joining Rich Wright who won the hammer in 1988. The Saints have not had a national champion in men's track since 1989.
"My sophomore year I was star struck when I came to the national meet. This year I was ready for the mental aspect and I conquered that fear and came out as a national champion," said Jones after his victory. "What a great accomplishment. At the start of the year I was still working on some things, but as the year went on I continued to improve and it paid off. Last year I was runner up and I had a big target on my back. I do feel this is an accomplishment to be the first national champion in a weight event in a long time at St. Lawrence."
The Saint senior, who set the SLU record in the ECAC Championships last weekend with a throw of 19.31 meters, fouled on his first attempt in the qualifying round and then threw the eventual winning throw on his second attempt of the first round. It stood the rest of the way as Jones fouled on his first throw in the finals and then threw 17.34 and 18.87 in his final two throws of the day.
Wright was NCAA hammer champion in 1988 and finished second in the weight throw indoors. Jones is now a two time All America in the event after finishing second last year.