Redshirt senior Aliyah Gustafson and redshirt sophomore Kaila Butler closed out the 2019 outdoor track and field season with impressive performances at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field National Championships Thursday night, hosted by the University of Texas. Gustafson concluded one of the most storied careers in BGSU Athletics history with a tenth place finish in the shot put, while Butler finished her statement season with a 12th place result in the hammer throw.
Both Falcons earned second team All-American honors for their efforts. For Gustafson, she finishes her career as a six-time Mid-American Conference champion, a first team All-American, and a three-time second team All-American.
THE SHOT PUT
• Redshirt senior Aliyah Gustafson earned her best finish in three NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field National Championships appearances, placing 10th in the shot put with a distance of 54-6.75 (16.63m).
• Gustafson entered seeded No. 11 in the 24-woman field but was the top finisher to not make the nine-woman final.
• Five of the nine competitors who did make the final threw season and/or personal bests to get three more throws.
• Gustafson fouled on her first and three throws, but posted her only mark on her second toss. She sat in eighth place after two rounds.
• For Gustafson, it was her fifth national championship appearance (between indoors and outdoors) of her career. She is a three-time second team All-American and earned first team All-American honors with a seventh place finish at the 2019 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field National Championships.
THE HAMMER THROW
• Entering as the last seed in the 24-woman field, Kaila Butler threw 212-feet-1 (64.64m) to place 12th overall and earn second team All-American status.
• Butler is Bowling Green's top national finisher in the hammer throw since Brooke Pleger placed third in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015.
• How strong was this year's field? Butler threw further than Pleger did when she placed seventh in 2013 and third in 2014.
• Butler fouled on her first throw by stepping out of the front of the ring on her follow through. Her second toss was her best, recording her final 64.64m mark. She fouled again on her third throw, a toss that appeared to be her best, when the hammer was out of the sector by inches.
• Following the first flight, which consisted of seeds 13-24, Butler sat in third place. She stayed ahead of three of the competitors in the second flight (seeds 1-12) to finish 12th.
• Butler's performance is the second-best at a national championship in program history, behind only Pleger's 2015 distance of 219-11 (67.03m).