On Fri. March 11, two Eastern Michigan University men’s throwers represented the Eagles at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Junior Newlyn Stephenson and graduate student Taige Bryant traveled to the University of Alabama to compete inside the Birmingham CrossPlex for the second time in their careers.
Former Eagle Anthony Jones is the only other thrower in EMU track and field history to compete in the weight throw at the national meet twice. He qualified in 2015 and 2016, finishing 13th (20.48m) and seventh (21.52m). Former Eagle David Seaborne is the only other thrower to make it to the championship event for weight throwing. He completed a 18.69m launch, placing 13th in 1998.
After the first round of the weight throw competition, Bryant sat in seventh with 21.55m and Stephenson placed 15th with 19.60m out of the 16 competitors.
Bryant’s second throw resulted in 21.84m, advancing him into sixth place. Stephenson increased his throw to 21.54m in the third round, placing 11th. He did not advance to the final three throws.
In the finals, Bryant completed a 22.21m throw in the fifth round, placing in the top five. His final throw also totaled out at 22.21m, finishing sixth overall. Bryant received First-Team All-American for the first time in his career.
Bryant earned three points for EMU, now putting us at the ninth rank in the country with Mississippi State University.
Stephenson holds the third-best seed mark after completing a school-record toss of 23.22m at the Michigan Invitational on Jan. 22. Bryant holds the fifth-highest throw this 2021-22 season, with a 23.01m launch at Grand Valley State University on Feb. 11.
With indoor track season coming to an end, the Eagles will prepare for their first outdoor track meet the weekend of March 24 at North Carolina State University for the Raleigh Relays. For more updates, follow the team @EMUXC_TF on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.