Auburn senior Stephen Saenz finished fifth in the men's shot put during the first day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field, capping his Auburn career as a seven-time All-American. The Rio Grande City, Texas, native, best throw of 64-10.75/19.78m came on his fifth of six throws.
Saenz, who missed a majority of the 2013 outdoor season with a torn pectoral muscle, earned his third outdoor All-America honor in the shot put after finishing second in 2012 and 10th in 2011.
"Last year I hurt myself, so this is probably the one that means the most because I worked so hard to get back," Saenz said. "I couldn't lift my arms above my sides 14 months ago, so to come out here and compete with the best throwers in the country, it feels pretty good."
Competing in the first flight, Saenz's mark of 63-11/19.48m was good for third in his flight and eighth overall to advance to the finals. After his fourth throw, Saenz posted his best mark of the night to move from eighth to fifth place before fouling on his last attempt.
Behind Saenz's fifth-place showing, the men are in 13th in the team scoring.
Competing on Thursday for the Tigers will be freshmen Teray Smith and Khalil Henderson in the men's 200m semifinals (8 p.m. CT) and freshman Ebony Morrison and junior Samantha Scarlett in the women's 100m hurdles semifinals (9:20 p.m. CT).
The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be streamed online on ESPN3 exclusively on Thursday and will be broadcast on ESPNU Friday and Saturday. Thursday's coverage will begin at 5:55 pm CT. Friday's ESPNU coverage begins at 6:30 pm CT, and Saturday's coverage is slated for 4 pm CT.
Live results for the NCAA Championships can be found online at www.flashresults.com.