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June 23, 2013

ISU grad Felisha Johnson takes fifth at USA Championships in shot put

DES MOINES, IOWA — Indiana State senior Felisha Johnson placed fifth in the women’s shot put at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships on Saturday at Drake University, posting her best attempt on her third throw of the competition.

Johnson’s best distance went 56 feet, 43⁄4 inches on her third attempt after she had fouled on her first two attempts. The distance put her in fifth after the first round of the competition and advanced her to the final round of throws. She was unable to best that distance on her final three attempts.

Michelle Carter (Nike) won her third USA title and set a new American record in the process with a throw of 66-5 on her fifth attempt. Ramona Pagel (Mazda) had the record of 66-21⁄2, which she set in 1988.

NCAA champion Tia Brooks was second at 61-91⁄2 with Alyssa Hasslen (Arizona) third at 59-43⁄4. Former Southern Illinois athlete Jeneva McCall (New York Athletic Club) was fourth at 57-41⁄4.

Johnson is not done with competing this summer as she will be in the shot put for Team USA at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, this July.

She placed third in the shot put at the 2013 NCAA outdoor championships, which was her best finish in the NCAAs. Johnson captured her first Missouri Valley Conference shot-put title this year and followed that up by breaking her own school record in the event as she placed first at the NCAA East Preliminary with a heave of 59-113⁄4.

As a junior in 2012, Johnson competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials and placed 13th just weeks after finishing fifth at the 2012 NCAA championships.

She has earned two first-team outdoor All-American honors in the shot put during her Indiana State career. Johnson also is a two-time first-team All-American in the indoor shot put after placing eighth at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships and seventh in 2012. She holds the Indiana State indoor record at 58-43⁄4 set in the 2013 Indiana Relays.

Former Sycamore and current ISU volunteer coach Kylie Hutson (Nike) will be competing in the Women’s Pole Vault Senior at 2:30 p.m. EDT today.

Hutson won the 2011 USATF outdoor championship in the pole vault and tuned up for the 2013 championships by winning the Sycamore Open Pole Vault Competition at Marks Field on June 15. She cleared her outdoor personal best of 15-5 on her final attempt to break the Marks Field record that she had set as a Sycamore senior in 2010.

Hutson, a two-time NCAA outdoor national champion while a member of the Indiana State Sycamores, ranks second heading into the 2013 championships and is tied for sixth in the world. The former Sycamore cleared a personal indoor best of 15-7 in finishing second at the 2013 USATF Indoor Championship.

She was eighth at the 2010 USA Outdoors before winning the 2011 title and finished seventh at the 2012 USA Olympic Trials.

Jennifer Suhr won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games after silver in 2008 and is a four-time outdoor and six-time indoor champion. She leads the competitors after clearing a world-record height of 16-51⁄2 in the USATF Indoor Championship. She has a 2013 outdoor season best of 15-9.

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