Washington State sophomore Anna Adamko placed second in the women's javelin at the Pacific-12 Conference outdoor track and field championships.But her season was not all smooth sailing.
Coming off a freshman season that led to the NCAA Division I outdoor championships, the Columbia River High School graduate got off to a good start. She was runner-up at the University of Southern California's Trojan Invitational on March 22 — her mark of 161 feet, 5 inches was a personal record.
A rough stretch followed.
"I had a little bit of a confidence issue," Adamko said. "I was struggling mentally instead of staying clear-minded and just focusing on what needs to get done. I was focusing too hard on what I was not doing correctly, so that affected a lot. When you look at the negative so much, it overtakes the positive aspects that you have. That was a problem for me then."
Then, but not now.
"The last few weeks, I've been doing really well," she said of getting some help and working through those issues. "I've been more focused on what I'm doing correctly in practice and focusing on what needs to get done."
Back at USC's Loker Stadium on Friday, Adamko's throw of 153 feet even was good for second place behind Stanford's Brianna Bain, the national leader in the event who threw 176-8. Adamko was three feet clear of Oregon's Liz Brenner for second.
"I'm not upset about it, but I definitely could have had a better day," Adamko said. Her mark "is not my best throw, but it was enough to beat Brenner from Oregon by three feet. Second place is second place. It's eight points (in the team scoring). I did what I could for the school. I got the job done, I guess."
Adamko's second of sixth throws stood as her best of the competition, with a mark of 142-7 1/2 the best of her three throws in the finals.
"What I've noticed as a pattern is that it's more typical to throw better within the last three, just because I feel more relaxed at that stage," she said. "My arm has been sort of tight lately, and I think I was just forcing it too much. I need to be more loose and relaxed and not so tense. That's something I'll work on for next weekend."
Next is the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field West Regional, May 23-25 at the University of Texas. Adamko, who placed 10th in Austin last year and advanced to nationals, qualified as one of the top 48 in the regional with her Trojan Invitational throw.
After placing 19th at nationals last year, her goal is to earn All-America recognition at this year's championships, June 5-8 at the University of Oregon.
Back on the right path as championship season arrives, Adamko said she just needs to "touch up on things" in practice to prepare.
"I'm working to get my left shoulder down, and sticking my plant will definitely help me a lot, and getting a good pull," she said. "I'll need the next few days with coach to touch that up. Other than that, I just need to relax and I think I'll be fine in two weeks. I like Texas. I like the environment there, so I have a good feeling about what's going to happen there."
• Washington senior Jordin Seekins of Washougal placed seventh in the event, at 141-7.
Dixson tops CCC meet
Concordia University senior Gabi Dixson was named the Women's Field Athlete of the Meet after winning the shot put and discus while placing second in the hammer at the Cascade Collegiate Conference outdoor championships in Gresham, Ore.
Dixson, of Battle Ground, had winning marks of 45 feet, 8 inches in shot put and 159-9 in discus. Her hammer mark was 163-8.
The NAIA Outdoor Championships are May 23-25 in Marion, Ind.
EWU's Wall wins 400
Eastern Washington senior Brad Wall claimed a fourth Big Sky Conference title in the 400 meters Saturday, his third at the outdoor championships.
The Evergreen High School graduate won in 47.67 seconds. EWU's Brad Michael, a Skyview High School graduate, was third in 47.72. Wall and Michael helped the EWU 4x400 relay place second, the sixth career all-conference relay for Wall.
Wall was also named the school's Scholar-Athlete for the month of May.
• Linfield outfielders Grace Middelstadt (Prairie) and Erin Carson (Camas) were named All-West Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, Carson to the first team and Middelstadt to the second team.
• Western Oregon freshman Tyler Preston (Prairie) was named freshman of the year and first team All-Pacific Northwest College Lacrosse League faceoff specialist.
• Western Washington junior Tanner Boyd (Camas) placed third in the 10,000 meters at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships in Monmouth, Ore. His time was 32 minutes, 36.52 seconds.
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