Garrett Noel of Cal State Northridge says he is "completely healthy" for the first time in his collegiate career.
Proof came at Northridge on Saturday when Noel threw a school record and personal best of 244 feet 9 inches to win the men's javelin in a meet against USC, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC Irvine.
Teammate Joe Hicks also set a school record of 205-4 to finish second in the hammer throw as Northridge totaled 64 points to win the men's meet. USC finished second with 61 points, followed by San Luis Obispo (43) and Irvine (5).
USC won the women's meet with 72 points, followed by Northridge (67), San Luis Obispo (29) and Irvine (8).
Noel, who finished eighth in the javelin at last year's NCAA Division I championships, took advantage of a strong tail wind--which can add distance to a javelin throw--to destroy his previous school record of 234-1 set last year.
"I was just hoping to throw 230," Noel said. "A little bit under my (personal record) would have been fine to start the season, but this is great."
Noel, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior from Crespi High, had a superb series, throwing 238-4 on his first attempt, 244-9 on his second and 233-0 on his third before fouling his fourth and final attempt.
The 244-9 mark exceeded the automatic qualifying standard (242-9) for the Division I championships in June.
"It's a relief to have (qualifying for nationals) out of the way," Noel said. "Now I can just work on my technique and look for some long throws."
Hicks, a junior from Modesto College who won the shotput in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor championships in Reno last week, tacked on nearly four feet to the previous Northridge record (201-7) in the hammer, which was set in 1985 by Aaron Buckholtz, a spectator at Saturday's meet.
"Anything over 200 was fine with me today," Hicks said. "So 205 is exceptional."
A injured knuckle on his throwing hand limited Hicks to a third-place finish in the shotput at 53-8 1/2, but his hammer mark exceeded the provisional qualifying standard (195-2) for the Division I championships.
Balazs Kiss of USC produced the best mark of the meet when he won the hammer with a personal best of 249-9.
In other men's events, Northridge sophomore Derek Scurry won the long jump and triple jump with wind-aided marks of 25-2 3/4 and 49-6 1/2.
Sophomores Teresa Stricklin and Kristin Dunn had the top performances for the Northridge women.
Stricklin won the shotput (46-6) and placed third in the discus (146-5) while Dunn placed first in the javelin with a throw of 154-4.