ASU’s Turner Washington second in shot put; Dayton Carlson advances to 800-meter final at NCAA track and field championship

Arizona State’s Turner Washington took second in the shot put finals of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by David Veenstra/Cronkite News)

EUGENE, Ore. – Arizona State’s Turner Washington took second in the shot put finals on day one of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and Dayton Carlson continued his dominance on the track at Hayward Field.

Washington – who won the outdoor shot put championship last year and the indoor championship this year and last – raised his arms in celebration Wednesday after his final throw vaulted him into second place. He had been in fourth place going into his sixth throw, but the Tucson native produced a season-best mark of 21.05 meters (69′ 0¾”) on his final heave.

“It’s a really weird feeling because I’ve won championships and kind of felt indifferent about them,” said Washington, a senior. “And then this one getting second under the circumstances and just having my sixth throw, probably my last throw in the shot, the best one of the meet, it means something.”

Carlson, a freshman competing in the second of three 800-meter semifinal heats, ran the second-fastest 800-meter time in school history while setting a personal record of 1:47.45 to qualify for Friday’s final. Only Pete Richardson, who clocked 1:46.95 in 1984, is ahead of Carlson on the Sun Devils’ all-time leaderboard.

Carlson is one of nine runners to qualify for the final. The top two finishers of each semifinal heat of eight plus the next three fastest times advanced.

However, Carlson’s job was made a lot tougher after he was drawn with Texas Tech senior Moad Zahafi, who ran a collegiate-leading 1:43.69 in April.

Zahafi won Carlson’s heat (1:46.66) to automatically advance to the final; however, the last heat produced the fastest times of the three. Mississippi State junior Navasky Anderson ran the fastest semifinal time (1:45.94), and the other two nonautomatic qualifiers also came for the third heat. Carlson nabbed the final nonautomatic qualifying spot and comes heads into Friday’s final with the eighth-fastest semifinal time.

“The goal was to get out and definitely be aggressive the first 200 (meters),” Carlson said. “Put myself in anywhere from fourth to sixth place and then with 150 to go, just kind of gradually build. I put all the pieces together and it went well. That was my goal to be second or third in the race because I knew Zahafi was probably going to be first regardless.”

“He kept his composure and had his patented finish, so can’t ask for anything more,” ASU distance coach Patrick Henner said. Carlson sat in second-to-last to begin the final lap, but the former No. 1 recruit out of Arizona remained relaxed and used his signature finish to propel him to Friday’s final.

“(Carlson’s start) is somewhere we can still improve,” Henner said. “But the thing is he stays relaxed and he stays composed and gives himself a shot, but we still want to work on being up a little bit closer to where he wants to finish a little earlier.”

The gun will go off at 7:14 p.m for Friday’s final, where Carlson will be running in lane one. The event will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

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Washington – a finalist for last year’s Bowerman award, which is given to the most outstanding track and field athlete in the nation – injured his right knee in May, right before the Pac-12 Championships. Hampered by the injury, he finished fourth at the Pac-12 Championships.

“I’m really happy. I really came out here and competed,” Washington said of his second-place finish Wednesday. “I want to leave the sport doing something, a distance that I’m proud of.”

Washington said he felt free after his sixth throw.

“I did what I wanted to do, finish as a 21-meter shot putter. … I’m happy with it.”

Washington, who’s the defending champion in discus, will return to action in Friday’s final, which begins at 5:35 p.m.

In the men’s 400-meter semifinals, both ASU freshman Justin Robinson (46.23) and junior Gamali Felix (47.67) failed to advance to Friday’s final.

Graduate student Beatrice Llano and redshirt junior Shelby Moran will represent the Sun Devils in the women’s hammer throw finals Thursday at 3 p.m. The event will be streamed live on ESPN3.

Thursday night, freshman Adriana Tatum takes the track at 7:44 p.m. in the 200-meter semifinals, and graduate student Jorinde van Klinken will look to add an outdoor shot put title to the indoor title she won earlier this year. The women’s shot put final starts at 7:40 p.m. Television coverage starts at 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

David Veenstra(he/him/his)
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

David Veenstra expects to graduate in August 2022 with a master’s degree in sports journalism. Veenstra has covered ASU track and field for Inferno Intel.