Three track and field athletes earn All-American honors

Courtesy of UCR Athletics Media Relations

After competing from June 6-9, 2012, at the 2012 NCAA National Track & Field Championships, Caleb Stuart, Travis Smith and Ryan Swafford finished their seasons with All-American honors.

Stuart was named an Honorable Mention All-American, having had a breakthrough season. Stuart threw a 63.30m in the hammerthrow at the NCAA regionals, which set a new school record. He performed very consistently throughout the season, winning the hammerthrow event at the Big West Championships. Unfortunately Stuart could not set a mark at the NCAA nationals, as he ended up fouling out in the first round.

Before the meet, Coach Nate Browne said, “The thing that was most impressive is that Caleb [Stuart] was the only one of the three pre-ranked in the top 12. For each of the three to have their best performances under the pressure of being an NCAA qualifying meet and against imposing competition was gratifying.  It was a testament to the hard work they put in.  With the exception of Ryan (second in the State of California) Travis and Caleb had never been to even the high school state meet during their prep careers. It shows how much kids improve when they decide to become Highlanders.”

Travis Smith was the second to be named an Honorable Mention All-American. He set a new school record in the shot put at the NCAA regionals with a throw of 18.48m. Smith was also the Big West shot put champion. At the NCAA nationals, Smith fouled on his first two attempts, but recorded a throw of 17.93m in his third attempt. His mark placed him in 20th place, missing the final round. Smith needed to set a mark above 19.26m to make the cut, which was well above his career high.

Ryan Swafford had a very strong season in the triple jump, for which he was named a Second-Team All-American. Swafford’s achievement was the first time that the UCR men’s track and field program had an athlete given that high of a honor since becoming Division I. Swafford set a new school record with 15.80m jump at regionals. He also took home the Big West championship in the triple jump event. At the NCAA nationals, Swafford set a mark of 15.56m, placing him in 16th place. Swafford needed a jump of 15.91m or more to qualify for the final round.

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