Matti Narhi, a perennial runner-up in the javelin throw in Europe, came to the United States in hopes of winning a title.
He realized his goal today, capturing the javelin title at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships at Boise State.
"That's the reason I came here," Narhi said, after a hurl of 261 feet 7 inches. "I finally won something."
Georgetown received good news, but not in the form of a victory on the track. Frank Gagliano, who will be limiting his role in the program next year, was named NCAA Division I men's track and field coach of the year. He also won the award in 1991.
In other events, Tennessee's Dawane Wallace (Mount Vernon High) posted the second-fastest time in the semifinals of the men's 110-meter hurdles. Wallace won his heat in 13.58 seconds to advance to the finals. Only South Carolina's Terrence Trammell had a faster time (13.54).
"I'm very pleased," Wallace said. "I really didn't want to run that hard but I wanted to make sure I got in [the finals]. I had some stuff left at the end, though. I didn't want to show everything. I wanted to save something for the finals."
Virginia Commonwealth middle distance runner Maria-Elena Calle earned all-America honors after finishing third in the 3,000 meters in 9 minutes 33.04 seconds. Stanford's Sally Glynn (Walter Johnson) placed fifth, finishing in 9:40.06, and Georgetown's Kristen Gordon was 10th in 9:54.51. Villanova's Carrie Tollefson won in 9:26.51.
George Mason women's sprinter Cydonie Mothersill, whose academic eligibility had been uncertain earlier in the week, did not compete in the 200-meter semifinals although she had qualified for them on Wednesday -- the last day she definitely would be eligible to compete.
Virginia's Ann Crouse placed 10th in the women's javelin.
"It didn't go very well today," Crouse said. "I'm very disappointed. But the way I'm looking at it is that I have bigger meets coming up, such as the USA championships. But it's disappointing that I finished my collegiate career at a low. I was overexcited, almost too ready to go. I guess the best way to describe it was I was overanxious."
Narhi, a 23-year-old from Turku, Finland, is in his first year at Texas-El Paso. He is coached by Mika Laaksonen, a Finn who won the NCAA hammer throw title for the Miners in 1992. Narhi is the first javelin thrower from UTEP to win an NCAA title.
This was only Narhi's third collegiate meet, all victories. He is the collegiate leader in the javelin at 273-2, winning the Western Athletic Conference title.
Results on Page D9