Kelsey Card earns pair of NCAA berths - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Kelsey Card earns pair of NCAA berths

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kelsey Card punched her ticket to Eugene, OR for the NCAA Championships in both events at Rock Chalk Park in very different fashions as Card had the best throw in the shot put of 57 feet after placing 10th in the discus with a mark of 176-3 on her final attempt of the competition.

“I’m not sure if it was the shock of the early morning discus throw and having difficulty in that event and having to wait until her third throw to qualify, but something woke Kelsey up and she stepped into the circle for the shot put with a swagger and confidence,” UW Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Mick Byrne said.  “She looked very hungry and excited to get after it. Give all the credit to her.

“She was able to put aside the difficulties in the discus and take control of the shot put. That’s what great athletes like Kelsey do and we can’t wait to see what she does in Eugene in two weeks.”

“It is really exciting to qualify for both events,” Card said. “This is my last year and it is great that to know that I will compete in my two events at my last collegiate meet.”

After the discus was suspended last night due to severe weather, Card threw early Saturday morning in the final flight of the competition.

Card opened the discus with a mark of 170-1 before suffering a foot foul on her second attempt.

Heading into the final round of throws, Card needed to throw more than 175 feet to qualify for the NCAA meet as the senior sat in 14th.

But Card came through in the clutch on her final attempt, launching the disc 176-3 to advance to the NCAA championships for the third time in the discus.

“The first two throws were not good as well,” Card said. “I felt weird and things felt off. But I talked with Dave and he told me that it is just like any other throw and throw like I have been practicing. That’s what I tried to do.

“My final throw wasn’t the distance I wanted, but it got me into the top 12, which is all that matters.”

The shot put in the afternoon was a different story, as Card opened up with a heave of 57-0, the top throw of the competition.

Despite fouling her final two throws, Card won the competition by six inches, topping Oregon’s Brittany Mann, who threw 56-6 to finish runner-up.

“After discus was so stressful, I wanted to avoid stress at all cost in the shot put,” Card said. “I wanted to focus on relaxing and finding my flow and the rhythm of my throw. I got a good first one and at the end of the day it stuck.”

Freshman Kennedy Blahnik finished 31st in the shot put with a mark of 49-5, while fellow frosh Banke Oginni was 39th with a mark of 47-8 1/2.

Blahnik also finished 33rd in the discus with a mark of 156-8, while freshman Shaelyn Sorensen was 31st in the 5000 meters in 17 minutes, 5 seconds.

Card will throw the shot put at the NCAA championships on Thursday, June 9 at 8:30 p.m. CT and the discus on Saturday, June 11 at 5:05 p.m.

A captain for the Badgers, Card will be joined in Eugene by Taylor Amann (pole vault), Georgia Ellenwood (heptathlon) and Haley Showalter (hammer throw).

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