May 25, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Leonard Joseph (Whitesboro, N.Y./Clinton) equaled the best throw of his career on his final attempt, and the effort paid off as the Bucknell junior advanced to the NCAA Championships after throwing 206-3 in the hammer on Friday. Joseph placed 12th at the NCAA East Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla., to qualify for the first national final of his career.
Heading into Friday's final, Joseph was 13th and needed to move up at least one spot to continue his season into June. By the time the field's fifth throw was in the books, however, he had dropped to 14th. With one attempt remaining, Joseph then threw 206-3, tying his career best and pushing him into the all-important top 12.
"Lenny had a huge pressure throw in the sixth round to move up two spots," said head coach Kevin Donner of his two-time defending Patriot League hammer throw champion. "All the hard work over the past three years is now paying off."
Joseph, who ranks second all-time at Bucknell in the hammer, began the East Preliminaries as the No. 15 seed. While Friday was his second regional appearance - he placed 37th in the hammer throw last season - Joseph will now compete in the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career. The national meet runs June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Joseph is the second Bison to advance to the NCAA Championships in as many years. Ted Heitzman (Elysburg, Pa./Southern Columbia) qualified in the javelin last spring and, after placing sixth, was named Bucknell's sixth All-American and the first since 1996.
12. Leonard Joseph