DES MOINES, Iowa - Sophomore Michelle Anumba earned First Team All-America honors and put Duke on the scoreboard by finishing in eighth place with an almost personal record throw of 56-3.0 (17.14) in the women's shot put at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, hosted by Drake University.
"I was really nervous but I threw really well," Anumba commented with a smile afterwards. "I felt good, better than I have in the last few weeks. I felt like I still had more to give but I am happy with how I finished."
Anumba is the first female thrower in program history to finish with first team All-America honors. She also closed out a spectacular collegiate year including two first place finishes at both the indoor and outdoor ACC Championships, being named the 2012 ACC Indoor Field Event Most Valuable Player and earning Second Team All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
"I think today Michelle competed very well, Assistant Coach B.J. Linnenbrink commented. "A lot of times we talk about just executing your throw which is important but she really came out and competed when the pressure was on in the first round of finals. She stepped up and delivered which was great. To rise up in that kind of pressure, that is what it takes to be a champion."
In her first throw of the evening, Anumba boomed a mark of 55-0.75 (16.78). The mark was good enough to put her in seventh place in the trials and therefore advance to finals.
In her first throw of the final round, after being passed by one compeititor, Anumba responded with her best throw of the night, a mark of 56-3.0 (17.14) which was good enough to keep her on the podium.
The 2012 ACC Shot Put Champion felt more at home in her second NCAA appearance, the first time being the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
"I felt more relaxed. Everyone is here to do well. It wasn't so much of a competition, everyone was cheering each other on unlike other competitions."
Next up for the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native is the 2012 Olympic Trials on June 29 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Duke has earned a total of five All-America honors on the weekend with one day left. Anumba is the first to be named to the first team while, sophomore Curtis Beach earned Second Team All-America honors in both the long jump and 800 meters, senior Amy Fryt earned Second Team All-America honors in the pole vault and junior Juliet Bottorff also earned Second Team All-America honors in the 10,000.
Senior Michael Barbas will close out Duke's championship campaign by competing in the men's shot put. The competition is set for 10 a.m. (CST).