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King and Young continue goal of pursuing world stage

By Jonathan Rhodes
On July 10, 2017

Alex Young and Devin King are still representing the Lions in meets and breaking personal records which they have been doing all season long. Both athletes are pursuing a spot on the USA world team for the Summer Olympic Games, but it has not been easy. Young will need to surpass what he has done so far this season to qualify for the team. File Photos/The Lion’s Roar

Senior pole vaulter Devin King and graduate student hammer thrower Alex Young competed in the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the California State University, Sacramento Hornet Stadium representing the Lions track and field team. Young won first place in the hammer throw outdoor competition, and King finished in fourth place tying his Lions record mark 18 feet, 8.25 inches that he set in the 2016 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.

“It was awesome,” said Associate Track and Field Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Corey Mistretta. “Typical from those two guys to just be great competitors for us over the years. They perform at the level that we want all of our kids to perform at.”

Mistretta wants to use the success of Young and King as a recruiting tool during the offseason to attract athletes to the university.

“From a recruiting standpoint, we are trying to sign better quality people so we can continue to have these national splashes,” said Mistretta. “These guys have helped us out. I don’t know how many teams did as well as we did post NCAA Championships. We had a guy win the USA championships, we had a guy come in fourth in the USA championships, and we had a guy come in second at the Bahamian National Championships.”

Young was glad to get the opportunity to represent the Lions one more time, but he only has until July 23 to qualify for the United States team in the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations which begins on Aug. 5.

“To go out there and have a good showing especially after the last year with the trials felt pretty good,” said Young. “I have to be in the top 23 in the world or hit the qualifying mark of 76 meters to get an invitation to compete in the IAAF.”

There is not much about Young’s preparation that has changed in order to reach his goal.

“It’s still the same thing working everyday and staying focused,” said Young. “I’m trying to figure out what exactly I need to fix within my throw, and that is always changing. For the most part, my technique is pretty set. I’ve been developing this technique since October, and now it just needs some fine tuning so I can have a big throw.”

King, however, has been invited to the IAAF World Championships to compete for the United States team but only as an alternate in case an athlete on the team gets injured. However, King was hoping to achieve more and officially make the team. 

“The fourth place finish is kind of bittersweet because I didn’t make the team,” said King. “But I was satisfied with the way I performed. It’s not a total loss because if someone gets hurt then I make the team and get to compete so that’s pretty cool.”

Competing for team USA is important to King, and he hopes to achieve this goal after all of his hard work through this season.

“It means a lot to me to say that I am capable of representing my country,” said King. “It’s the best trophy that one can go after. It’s a great feeling to know that I am able to compete on that caliber of athletics.”

King hopes to not only achieve this for himself but also for the university.

“To be able to represent Southeastern in that caliber of a meet, would be awesome,” said King. “A person from a small school can work hard and get their foot in the door and move on to bigger things.”

King has been invited to the IAAF World Championships to compete for the United States team as an alternate in case an athlete on the team gets injured. File Photos/The Lion’s Roar


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