Fraley Wins NCAA Discus Title

Veronica Fraley brings home the third individual NCAA title in Vanderbilt history

EUGENE, Ore. – With a fourth-round throw of 63.66 meters, graduate student Veronica Fraley became the NCAA discus champion on the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field. She joins Ryan Tolbert (track and field, 1997) and Gordon Sargent (men’s golf, 2022) as the third individual NCAA champion in school history.

“This week has been the NCAA Championship we have dreamed up,” director of track and field Althea Thomas said. “All of our ladies became All-Americans with the highlight of Veronica becoming the first Vanderbilt NCAA track champion since the great Ryan Tolbert.”

In a discus competition with several lead changes, Fraley came out on top after launching three throws over 60 meters. Her 63.66-meter mark ranks her 11th all-time in collegiate history. Fraley’s performance caps a final collegiate season where she was named the SEC Field Athlete and Scholar Athlete of the Year, won the SEC shot put crown and was runner-up in the discus. She concludes her NCAA career with a total of four All-America selections, two East Region titles, two SEC titles and an NCAA discus championship.

On Thursday, Fraley, Lena Gooden and Sarah Omoregie gave performances that earned all three All-America honors. Gooden broke the school record in the long jump again with a 6.22-meter mark to place 16th. Fraley came in 16th in the shot put with a 16.44-meter nark to earn second-team honors in the event for the second year in a row. Omoregie recorded a 17.35-meter throw, coming in seventh and earning her first-ever first-team selection.

“The effort that Lena gave in the biggest meet of her life, resetting the school record shows you where we are going as a program,” Thomas said. “Coach Byron and Coach Rose have done an amazing job developing her, and her future is bright. Sarah O came here after being a second-team All-American last year and got her first first-team honor. She’s a very focused athlete, and she shows up when it matters most. Veronica made a statement today. She persevered and became a national champion. Coach Newell has done an amazing job. I truly believe that I have the best staff in the NCAA and today Vandy showed that.”

Vanderbilt came in 23rd as a team with a total of 12 points. It’s the third-best finish in program history.

Though the NCAA season is over, Commodore track and field student-athletes continue competition at the USATF U20 Championships, which will be June 12-13 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

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