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George Mason's Wallerstedt Opens 2017 NCAA Championship Saturday

Release: 06/07/2017
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Courtesy: Associated Press
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FAIRFAX, Va. – Women's track & field senior Michelle Wallerstedt will look to cap an outstanding four years at George Mason with a career-defining performance Saturday at the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Ore.
 
Wallerstedt makes her national meet debut in the discus throw, which begins at 6:05 p.m. ET/3:05 p.m. PT under the bright lights of historic Hayward Field. The event will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3 on a discus-specific feed.
 
She will compete in the second of two flights against competitors from Florida State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Arizona State, among others. The top-9 marks out of the 24 student-athletes in the competition will advance to the final and gain three additional throws for the chance to claim a national title.
 
With NCAA Championship track & field events beginning Wednesday, Wallerstedt will have an opportunity before competing to take in sights and sounds that make Hayward Field one of the most electric venues in all of collegiate sports.
 
"It's fantastic for Michelle to be able to finish her Mason career here in Eugene," head coach Andrew Gerard said. "It's an iconic place in American track and field. The crowds are so appreciative and attentive to all the events. It's one of the special places for student-athletes to compete, so it's really cool for her to be able to finish her collegiate career here. With her event being on the last day, it'll be nice to soak in the atmosphere for a couple days and see some of the other events and then still have the chance to narrow in and focus on doing what she's ready to do. We're really excited for her."
 
Wallerstedt – a two-time Atlantic 10 champion in the discus - advanced to Eugene with a spectacular showing at the NCAA East Preliminary on May 26 in Lexington, Ky.
 
Competing in the third and final flight, the Omaha, Neb., product opened with a solid throw of 51.97m (170-6), vaulting her into ninth place in the field of 48. She then reared back and executed the superior mark of 55.16 meters (181-0), surpassing her previous school record throw of 53.84m (176-8) set at the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship. The second throw moved Wallerstedt up to third with one throw remaining.
 
She closed with another good mark of 52.94m (173-8) to wrap up her day.  With the top-12 competitors advancing to Eugene, Wallerstedt comfortably clinched her spot with the fourth place showing. It marked the third time she had competed in an NCAA Preliminary in her career.

"I have a goal to be an All-American," Wallerstedt said after the NCAA Preliminary performance. "As a track & field athlete, you can be happy with performance but never satisfied. My technique wasn't 100 percent and I know I can improve upon this performance in Eugene."
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