Troy senior javelin thrower Martins Pildavs will look for a national title on Thursday when he takes to the field at Drake Stadium for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The meet begins on Wednesday, but Pildavs' men's javelin event begins on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The Latvia native is one of 24 student-athletes competing in Des Moines, Iowa for the javelin title.
"We are delighted to have Martins represent Troy University and our program at the national level," said Troy head coach Jill Lancaster.
"Martins has had an excellent season and this is a great send off to his career here at Troy," said Troy assistant coach Shawn Williams. "Representing the program at the National Championships, I look for him to have a great send off to his record breaking career. He has represented what it means to be a Trojan and doing it at the highest level. I am very excited to see what he does against the best in the country."
Pildavs qualified for the event by finishing seventh at the NCAA East Preliminary with a throw of 68.39 meters. That came on the heels of a second place finish at the Sun Belt Championships in which Pildavs posted a throw of 69.87 meters.
"Martins is currently ranked 17th going into the meet which is misleading," Lancaster said. "He has learned a lot since missing out on this meet last season. This season he understood the mission was to get to the National Championships and now he as an opportunity at the national podium."
His best throw of the season came back on April 14 at the South Alabama Invitational when Pildavs made a throw of 75.60 meters, a mark that still stands as the fifth best in the NCAA this season.
"Martins personal best puts him in the top of the NCAA," Lancaster said. "What matters, though, is who performs this Thursday afternoon in Des Moines."
Troy last had athletes in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2010 when Leander McKenzie (110m hurdles) and Lamontrey Stamper (long jump) each walked away with All-American honors after that season's meet in Eugene, Ore.
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