Kostas Zaltos leads Hammer field heading to Austin for NCAA Championships

Hammer Throw star Kostas Zaltos advanced to NCAA Outdoor Championships after winning the 2023 NCAA Outdoor West First Round title on Wednesday (24).

Kostas Zaltos of Minnesota 2023 NCAA Outdoor West First Round
Kostas Zaltos of Minnesota 2023 NCAA Outdoor West First Round

Top seed Kostas Zaltos, along with Pac-12 stars Jordan Geist and Nikolaos Polychroniou, all advanced in the men’s Hammer Throw on Day 1 at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor West First Round in Sacramento, California, on Wednesday, May 24.

Minnesota’s Zaltos, who has been in excellent form this season, topped the list of 12 qualifiers advancing to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, next month. He achieved a distance of 74.42 meters (244-2) in the second round. Zaltos also recorded marks of 70.81m and 72.59m in the first and third rounds, respectively.

Pac-12 Championships gold medalist Geist threw 72.62m (238-3) in the second round to secure his advancement. USC’s Nikolaos Polychroniou qualified with the third-best effort of the day, registering a mark of 71.34m.

Another standout performer today was Trevor Otterdahl of North Dakota State, surpassing the 70-meter standard with a personal best of 70.70m, securing his place as the fourth-best thrower from the 2023 West First Round meet.

Results from the West Region:

At the 2023 NCAA East First Round in Jacksonville, Florida, No. 3-ranked Kenneth Ikeji of Harvard led the qualifiers advancing from this regional meet with a throw of 72.88m (239-1). This performance was the second-best overall mark from the two regions, following Zaltos’ throw in Sacramento.

Also earning their spots in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Texas next month are Isaiah Rogers of Kennesaw State with a throw of 71.18m, Alencar Pereira of Georgia with 70.98m, Decio Andrade of Miami (Fla.) with 70.94m, and Tyler Merkley of Penn State with 70.41m.

Results from the East Region:

Gary Smith is one of the leading writers for He has over 20 years of running experience, as well as 12 years of coaching while covering several events, from the international to college level. Smith, who has covered events for publications such as Caribbean Net News, European Athletics, Cayman Net News, AFP, and Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), is also a frequent contributor of and Smith holds a degree in Communication and Journalism. Twitter | LinkedIn | News Break Writer

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