Jessica Woodard recorded the second-best shot put of the competition at NCAA Division 1 West Regionals Thursday to advance to the NCAA Championships next month.
Woodard fouled on her first attempt but threw 56-11 1/2 on her second and 54-4 1/2 on her third to finish behind only Arizona State senior Maggie Ewen, the defending NCAA champion, who had throws of 62-4 1/2 and 62-9 1/4.
The top 12 finishers from two regional meets advanced to NCAAs June 6-9 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Including the 12 qualifiers from the East Regional in Tampa, Woodard will be seeded sixth at nationals, although she’s only 5 1/2 inches out of second.
Woodard has a season-best of 59-3 1/2 from this year’s Big 12 meet and a career best of 60-2 3/4 from last year’s Big 12 meet.
Woodard, an Oklahoma post-grad senior out of Cherokee High School, is a five-time NCAA All-America in the shot. She’ll throw the discus on Friday and starts out as the No. 8 seed with a season-best of 190-9.