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Hibbard caps stellar season

Hibbard caps stellar season

TAMPA, Fla – Karly Hibbard closed her track and field season with her two best javelin performances of the year, culminating with a 27th-place finish at the NCAA Division I Outdoor East Preliminary Championships on Thursday.

Hibbard (Edmonds, Wash.) unleashed throws of 44.73 (146 feet, 9 inches) and 45.24 meters (148-5) and sat in 12th place at the end of the second flight of competitors. Unfortunately, the third flight and highest-seeded throwers followed to bump her down the scoreboard.

The top 12 finishers advanced to the NCAA National Outdoor Championships next week in Eugene, Ore.

"The throws felt fine, not great," the junior said of her performance. "My body was warm, excited and ready to go but I just didn't catch one."

Hibbard entered the competition seeded 29th based on her top throw from the regular season. That came two weeks ago, a toss of 47.66 meters that won her Ohio Valley Conference gold.

It both set the Belmont school record and the OVC Championships mark.

"I was really happy with the way Karly performed today," said Belmont Assistant Track Coach Joe Frye, who coaches the throwers. "She had her second-best performance of the season today, although it was a little bittersweet because we know she has more in there.

"The fact that she's doing this as a junior is a big plus and I think our season will go a little longer next year."

Hibbard is in her fourth year of competition but will return to the Bruins as a senior next year after redshirting during the 2016 outdoor campaign due to injury. She would have qualified for the East Regionals that year but missed all but two meets after needing elbow surgery.

Thursday marked her second actual trip to Regionals. She competed as a freshman for Lipscomb in 2015 before transferring to Belmont that offseason. Hibbard finished 34th as a freshman.

Belmont's Caleb Corprew also competed during the men's Regional action Thursday, advancing to the 400-meter hurdle quarterfinals. He'll run again Friday while Belmont men's team members Declan McManus (3,000-meter steeplechase) and Corey Claiborne (shot put) will also begin their stay at Regionals later this week.

NCAA track and field fans can watch a live stream online of the NCAA East and/or West Preliminary Championships as FloTrack Pro subscribers. The subscription will include access to all FloTrack live broadcasts, video on-demand from all events, documentaries, technique videos and more. Coverage of the preliminary competitions will be available Thursday through Saturday HERE.

Live results can also be viewed online HERE.