ABILENE, Texas - Paul Davis (Lubbock, Texas/Coronado H.S.), a junior at McMurry University, has been named as the NCAA Division II male track and field national "Athlete of the Week," it was announced today by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Davis unleashed the top collegiate shot put mark – 20.53m (67' 4 ¼') - in the nation, at any level, on Friday (April 19) at the inaugural Heartland/McMurry Invitational. Throwing in his home ring, Davis obliterated his own school record (previously 63' 10 ¼" set March 29 at the Texas Relays) by 3 ½ feet!
To put it into perspective, Davis' effort would have placed him 11th at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Davis moved ahead of Ryan Crouser from the University of Texas - who has the second-best mark of 67' 0 ½" - for "Best in the U.S." status.
It marked Davis' fourth-consecutive effort of better than 63 feet in a competition and the 10th time (in 14 competitions) of surpassing the 60-foot barrier since he first eclipsed that mark back on 3/25/12. It also earned him a spot in the 2013 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.
McMurry is in its first year of transitioning to NCAA Division II, from NCAA III last year. Davis won the NCAA III outdoor shot put championship in 2012 (and helped McM to the team title, as well) and has four D-III all-America finishes to his credit. Because McMurry is not a full NCAA II member yet, Davis and his teammates will not be at NCAA II championships, instead competing at the National Christian College Athletic Association – to which McM also holds affiliation – championship meet in Joliet, Illinois in two weeks.
Davis' mammoth throw on Friday also opens the door for legitimate conversation about the Lubbock, Texas native's stated personal goal of being the lightest shot put competitor to ever hit 70 feet. Davis stands 6'3", but weighs just 225 pounds, which is downright diminutive by prototypical shot put standards.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.