Tavik becomes SU's second female three-time All-American with second-place finish in shot put

CLAREMONT, Calif. – Salisbury University junior Chelsea Tavik entered Saturday's shot put competition at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships as the second-seeded student-athlete. Through the first round of competition, she was in first place before a career throw by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's Breanna Strupp would land Tavik in a second-place finish with a mark of 47' 5".

"She did well," Salisbury Throws Coach Tyler Hohman said. "All in all, she had a pretty good day. She was very consistent and that's the biggest thing we can take from today. She had the second-best throw of her life and we can't complain about that."

With her finish, Tavik earns All-American status for the third time in her career, and becomes just the second woman in Salisbury University history to accomplish the feat three times, matching Stacie Gado, who did so in the javelin in 1994, '95 and '97.

Tavik posted the top throw in the opening round, going for 47' 1.25" before heading to the final three throws.

"It was exciting when I was going into the finals first," Tavik said. "But I knew that wouldn't stand up against Breanna and the other girls. I know she can be clutch when she needs to be."

Tavik increased her top standing at the end of the fourth round with her 47' 5" toss, the second-best effort of her life. But in the fifth round, Strupp put up a heave most throwers only dream of, covering 48' 9.5" to take a commanding lead.

Salisbury's All-American admitted she thought about putting a little more behind her final two efforts, but tried to concentrate on form instead of pure strength, though she was not able to duplicate Strupp's top distance.

"Breanna had a huge toss in the fifth round," Tavik said. "She definitely earned her place, but it's something that I'm a little bitter about and I want to come back and beat her next year. I have the work ethic and I'm going to work until I get to the 50-foot mark."

The Glen Burnie, Md., native has earned All-American status in the shot put during last year's outdoor championships and again during this past indoor season as she won the national championship in that event. She will have two more chances to earn titles during the indoor and outdoor seasons next year and hopes to qualify in other events as well.

"Today we were seeing seniors from other schools who were ending their careers," Hohman said, "and to know Chelsea has one more year and two more opportunities to finish up her career and put it all together is exciting for us."

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