EUGENE, Ore. - Day one at the NCAA Division One Outdoor Track and Field Championships welcomed another Gaucho to the All-American list as Chase Tarr finally wrapped up his senior year with a 16th place finish in the men's javelin, achieving Second-Team All-American honors (awarded to those finishing in 9th-16th) for his performance at the national meet. His 16th place finish now makes him the second Gaucho ever to finish with Second-Team All-American honors in the men's javelin after alumni Matthew Kuskey accomplished this feat in 2017 when he finished 15th at nationals. A sudden downpour at the start of the competition proved worrisome for the first flight of throws, but the benevolence of Historic Hayward Field granted the field competitors a break and ceased the rain by the third round of throwing to continue the competition under more acceptable conditions.
A Second-Team All-American Performance
A cool and somber evening greeted the competitors as the men's javelin was about to get underway, but the comforting overcast slowly turned to a downpour just as the throwers were initiating their warm-ups on the infield. When the competitors were being announced over the stadium's video board shortly after, an undeterred Chase Tarr flashed up on the screen and without hesitation pointed directly to his UC Santa Barbara Track and Field shirt, brimming with determination to start his journey down the runway.
"Weather was dicey," Director and Head Coach Cody Fleming remarked, recalling the situation. "Typical Eugene. No rain in any forecast yet once the men walked up into the stadium for warm-ups it started dumping."
The lone Gaucho representative struggled at the start of the first flight to find his rhythm, recording a foul on his first attempt. Tarr continued through the competition and landed on the board with a second round throw of 62.06m/203' 7", good enough to move up to eighth in the flight, but not enough if he wished to finish in an All-American spot. Thankfully just as the third round of the flight was about to begin, the downpour let up and Tarr was set to take full advantage of the conditions as soon as possible. Mustering up all he had left, Tarr unleashed his final throw onto the infield and notched a mark of 67.00m/219' 10", the second furthest throw of his career and only the second time he's ever gone past the 67 meter mark, the first dating back to early March when he threw 67.25m/220' 8" at the Fresno Pacific Spring Break Invite. His final attempt was enough to bump him up two more spots into sixth, but now he had to wait and see where he'd land overall as the second flight took over.
Much like the NCAA West Regional Preliminaries, Chase's fate was being determined by a later javelin flight, and as the attempts poured in, the further back Tarr fell in the standings. A few first round fouls gave Tarr some room to work with, but by the end of round two the senior was relegated all the way back to 15th. A monster throw from Southeastern Illinois' Franck Disanza catapulted him all the way from 16th to 3rd overall in the third round, leaving Chase with his back against the wall in the final All-American spot with one thrower in the second flight still trailing behind with one attempt remaining, that being Cord Neal of Stephen F. Austin State. Thankfully for Chase, Neal would not have it on the day with his final throw still two meters and change behind Chase's 67.00m/219' 10" mark from the first flight, granting Tarr his first ever Second-Team All-American distinction, bringing his senior season to a close.
"Chase gets after it and we couldn't be more proud to see him become an All-American," said Director and Head Coach Cody Fleming. "It took two throws to find his rhythm and get confidence on the runway and his third throw was his best of the series. He hit all of the goals for the season: Big West Champion, top 12 at regionals, and top 16 at NCAAs."