BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Belmont women's track and field senior Karly Hibbard unleashed her best throw of the season in the javelin to claim the top spot at Western Kentucky's Hilltopper Relays on Saturday – and maybe earn even more than that.
Hibbard's throw of 45.84 meters (149-2) would be the 34th best mark in the NCAA East Region based on marks entering the weekend. The top 48 at the end of the season qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Championships.
She qualified for the NCAA East Regionals last season as well.
With her throw Saturday, Hibbard (Edmonds, Wash.) also now owns the top spot in the Ohio Valley Conference, but she wasn't the only Bruin breaking into the top of the rankings. Sophomore teammate Maja Gustafsson (Västerås, Sweden), who placed second to Hibbard in the javelin at the Hilltopper Relays, now ranks third with her throw of 43.64 meters (143-2).
Gustafsson and sophomore Grace Maniscalco (North Chelmsford, Mass.) both set personal bests in the javelin. Maniscalco's throw of 37.53 meters (123-1) lifted her to fifth place.
"We had a good day with great weather," said Belmont Assistant Track Coach Joe Frye. "We always throw better when we have great weather. They're on the right track and we're looking forward to next week."
The Bruins will be in nearby Clarksville, Tenn., this coming Friday and Saturday for the Governors Invitational.
16. Sarah Stegbauer, fr. – 31.48m (103-3)*
1. Karly Hibbard, sr. – 45.48m (149-2)
2. Maja Gustafsson, so. – 43.64m (143-2)*
5. Grace Maniscalco, so. – 37.53m (123-1)*