Cherry Hill East graduate Jude Misko finished his tremendous collegiate career by winning his second straight national title in the hammer throw title Saturday at the NCAA Division 3 Championships.
Misko threw 198-3 and won by eight inches over Matt Ausse of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisc., who threw 197-8 on the final day of the national championships at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Stockton grad student Darren Wan from Egg Harbor Township also earned All-America honors in the event.
Misko won the title last year with a throw of 198-5 in Greensboro, N.C.
He’s the first to repeat since Eric Flores of Cal Lutheran of Thousand Oaks, Calif., in 2010 and 2011.
The only other back-to-back hammer winners since the inception of the D-3 national championship in 1974 are Thomas Lowell of Rensselear in Troy, N.Y., in 1975 and 1976, Jamie Brewster of Colby in Waterville, Maine, in 1997 and 1998 and Jeremy Wendt of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2003 and 2004.
Misko is also the second Rutgers-Camden athlete to win back-to-back NCAA Division 3 titles. Deptford graduate Tim VanLiew won the javelin in the 2012 and 2013 meets.
As he did last year, Misko opened with the winning throw, and although he had three fouls in his series, he backed up the winner with a 198-0 throw that was second-best of the competition. Ausse was in 3rd place until he hit his 197-8 on his final throw.
Wan placed 6th with a PR and school-record 191-1 to earn his first All-America honor after placing 10th at last year’s meet. He actually had the two-best throws of his life in his series – he hit 190-9 on his second throw.
Wan’s previous PR was a 190-8 at the College of New Jersey in Ewing last month. He became the first Stockton thrower to earn All-America honors since Holy Spirit graduate Mike Mielke won the discus with a throw of 180-3 at the 1986 meet in La Crosse, Wisc.
Wan, who also starred in ice hockey at Stockton, graduated last week with a masters in business administration.