Junior thrower Kayla Melgar has a new stat-line to add to her resume as she picked up two new ACU records in discus and hammer throw, and is now the No.1 discus thrower in the nation.
Melgar, who was not even in the top-10 hammer throwers and only ranked fifth in ACU’s books in the discus, topped the previous hammer throw record that stood for 20 years by a distance of .76 meters with a throw of 54.8, and beat the old discus record by almost 1.3 meters with a throw of 55.5, breaking the old record of 54.2 set 21 years ago by Monique Kuenen.
When Melgar found out she broke the school record, she was ecstatic, but says leading the nation in discus was just an added bonus.
“It was pretty surreal,” Melgar said. “I didn’t know I was anywhere close to breaking the school record for disc, so when they told me I did and that I was leading the nation it was just the icing on the cake, really.”
Although Melgar was clearly the star of the day, the Wildcats performed well across the board with fellow junior thrower Lonnie Smith placing second in the hammer throw. On the track side of things, seniors Allie and Michaela Hackett picked up second and sixth in the 1,500-meter run.
On the men’s side Morgan Knight placed top-five in discus, shot put and hammer, senior Ryan Cleary finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and freshmen Avery and Jared Williams finished fourth and sixth in the 400-meter dash.
Head Coach Lance Bingham said the stats are good, but the ultimate goal is to place well in conference individually.
“The Sam Houston girls are certainly good, Northwestern girls have strong sprints, and several schools have got good teams,” Bingham said. “But I think the strength from our throws, distance and some other girls coming along, I think we can be in the top-3, but it all depends on who does what on which day.”
While the Wildcats prepare for conference, they look ahead to this weekend where they will compete right here in Abilene at the Wes Kittley Invitational.