Auburn senior Cade Antonucci, a 2017 Holy Spirit graduate, hit a massive javelin PR and finished third at the NCAA Track and Field Championships Wednesday night at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., earning All-America honors.
Along the way, he qualified for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials four days before the qualifying deadline. The Trials are scheduled for later this month at the same track.
Antonucci threw 249-10 on his fifth throw. LSU’s Tzuriel Pedigo moved up from seventh to first with a 252-7 on his final throw, and Mississippi State’s DJ Jonsson of Iceland finished second at 251-9.
Antonucci, seeded 8th coming in with his 235-6 at the Eastern Regional prelims, barely qualified for the finals. He threw 231-3 on his third and final throw of the trials, advancing by less than three feet.
He opened the finals with a 227-9 before bombing his 249-10 on his fifth throw. He added a 245-10 on his final throw, the second-best throw of his life.
The Olympic Trials standard is 75.00 meters (246-0).
Antonucci’s previous PR was 241-0 at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville in April. He also broke the school record of 243-9, set by current teammate Nils Fischer in April at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational in Baton Rouge. Fischer placed 10th at NCAAs with a throw of 228-8.
With his 249-10, Antonucci moves up to No. 10 in the U.S. this year. No. 1 is Florence graduate Curtis Thompson, who threw 267-2 in Tucson two weeks ago.
Antonucci, who’s from Mays Landing, also competed in the 2018 NCAA Championships in Eugene and the 2019 NCAA Championships in Austin, placing 24th and 21st.
Antonucci’s 3rd-place finish is the best ever by an Auburn javelin thrower. The previous best finish came 90 years ago, when Sam Robinson placed sixth in 1931.
Antonucci moved up from 9th to 8th on the all-time New Jersey alumni list:
271-11 … Curtis Thompson [Florence], July 4, 2016, Eugene, Ore.
261- 2 … Vince Labosky [Holy Cross], June 15, 1990, Norwalk, Calif.
261- 2 … Tim VanLiew [Deptford], May 21, 2016, Tucson, Ariz.
259- 7 … Bob Roggy [Holmdel], June 7, 1986, Eugene, Ore.
251- 6 … Chris Mirabelli [Holy Cross], April 29, 2017, Philadelphia
251- 0 … John Amabile [Wall Twp.], May 31, 1987, Piscataway
250- 2 … Gerard Langlois [Madison Central], June 10, 1995, Piscataway
249-10 … Cade Antonucci [Holy Spirit], June 9, Eugene, Ore.
249- 6 … Bobby Smith [Hopatcong], July 6, 2008, Eugene, Ore.
236- 5 … Nick Mirabelli [Rancocas Valley], March 27-30, 2019, Austin, Texas
At Holy Spirit, Antonucci threw 220-11 and won the 2017 Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington.