Auburn senior Cade Antonucci from Holy Spirit easily advanced to next weekend’s NCAA Championships Wednesday at the NCAA East Preliminary round in Jacksonville.
Antonucci took two throws – 234-0 and 235-6 – and since he was in the final flight, he knew he was safely among the 12 throwers that qualified to NCAAs and didn’t need to take his final attempt.
Antonucci placed seventh of the 48 competitors. The cutoff for advancing to nationals was 225-6.
The top 48 performers in every event in each of two regions – East (of the Mississippi River) and West – qualified for these regional meets, and the top 12 competitors in each event advancce to Eugene for NCAAs.
Antonucci ranks No. 13 in NCAA Division 1 this year with a lifetime-best throw of 241-0, which he hit April 2 at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville back on April 2. NCAA Regionals was only his fourth meet of the season and only his 17th and 18th throws since the 2019 season ended at NCAAs. The 235-6 is his second-best throw this year.
Antonucci placed 24th at 2018 NCAAs and 13th in 2019. Last year’s outdoor season was cancelled.
Antonucci threw 220-11 in the javelin at Holy Spirit when he won the 2017 Meet of Champions. He also had PRs of 59-5 1/4 in the shot put and 169-1 in the disus.
Only one competitor in the West Region at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, hit over 235, so Antonucci will be the No. 8 seed in Eugene.