GENEVA, Ohio – Penn State Harrisburg's Cameron Yon became the first student-athlete in school history to win a national championship when he secured gold in the discus throw at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at the SPIRE Institute on Thursday morning, May 23.
Yon, the reigning U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mideast Regional Field Athlete of the Year, entered the competition with the top mark in the nation and backed it up with a throw of 51.66 meters; a mark good enough to secure him the national title and the third USTFCCCA All-America honor of his illustrious career.
The senior was the first athlete in program history to qualify for an NCAA Championship event as a freshman in 2016. The Patuxent River, Md. native was also the first Penn State Harrisburg athlete to earn all-America honors, winning bronze in the event during his first trip to the national meet. His latest achievement tops them all, with his most-recent effort clinching the school's first-ever national championship.
Day one of the event also saw Rae Rae Taylor in action in the women's heptathlon. The sophomore currently sits eighth overall in the event after setting a new PR in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.24 seconds, clearing 1.54 meters in the high jump, throwing the shot put 10.68 meters and crossing the finish line in 26.29 seconds in the 200m dash. Taylor will finish up her two-day competition with the long jump, javelin throw and 800m run tomorrow.
Alex White also had a strong outing in the men's long jump. The junior's top bound of 7.15 meters was good enough to earn him a ninth-place finish in the event; just one spot shy of the all-America mark. White improved his seed coming into the national meet by five places.
Jalil Clayton also improved nicely on his men's 400m hurdle seed heading into the competition. The senior was ranked 20th entering Thursday's race but finished 12th thanks to his jaunt of 53.84 seconds. Clayton will return to action tomorrow afternoon when he takes part in the preliminary portion of the 110m hurdles.
Taylor and Clayton are back on the track on Friday afternoon, while Sarah Lehman is set to compete in the women's triple jump on Saturday, May 25.