MTSU’s Ampomah, Cornell’s Winkler lead way at NCAA outdoor championships

MTSU track

Repeating as a medalist from the 2015 championships, Middle Tennessee’s John Ampomah finished third in the javelin at Wednesday’s NCAA Division I outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore. Ampomah, who finished second last year, had a long throw of 76.44 m or 250.79 feet.

He grew up in Accra, Ghana, attended Juaben Senior High School and started throwing the shot put, discus and javelin when he was in the ninth grade.

“We don’t have the facilities and we don’t develop children (to eventually become athletes) when they are young,” Ampomah said of his African home. “I would sometimes throw a stick to practice because there was only one or two javelins. There was no way another javelin was going to be available unless coach preformed some sort of magic.”

Southern Miss’ Emron Gibbs was fourth followed by Evan Karakolis of Rice. Cornell’s Rob Robbins was eighth.

In the men’s hammer throw,  Cornell’s Rudy Winkler was second with a throw of 72.84 M (238.98 feet). Devin King of Southeastern Louisiana finished third in the pole vault.

Western Kentucky’s 4×100 squad advanced to Friday’s finals, qualifying fifth. Led by Kyree King, Ventavius Sears, Emmanuel Dasor and Julius Morris, they qualified in 38.85.

Also advancing to finals were Akron’s Clayton Murphy in the 1500m, and Furman’s Troy Reeder, EKU’s Jakob Abrahamsen and UMKC’s Bryce Miller in the 3000m steeplechase.

• Results and schedule

Above: MTSU’s John Ampomah, shown here from a meet last season, finished third in Wednesday’s javelin throw at the 2016 NCAA Division I outdoor championships.  (Courtesy Alfredo Carrillo)

Kathy Kudravi

Kathy Kudravi is executive web producer for ASN.