EUGENE, Ore., — Colton Paller took center stage with the 24 best Discus throwers in the country and finished seventh to earn First-Team All American honors on Friday evening at Hayward Field in Eugene at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. 

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As said by Paller, “The mentality was working tonight. I said I was going to medal, and that's what I did. I never check to see where I'm placed on paper because you never know how a competition will shake out, so I just show up to compete, and I executed with confidence and it enabled me to do what I needed to do.”

“Today was a special day,” said UW assistant coach Carrie Lane. “Colton handled himself like a seasoned veteran, even though this was his first time at the national meet. To get to this point, it’s do-or-die through the rounds, starting with the prelim rounds two weeks ago. HIs focus and confidence improved with each round and he looked more and more comfortable as the comp progressed. It’s very gratifying to see him rise to the challenge and finish 7th. He has put in a lot of work and I’m glad he can get the payoff in the form of a First-Team All American Award”

Paller became the first Cowboy since now fellow First-Team All-American Mason Finley in 2014 to qualify for the Discus at the NCAA’s by throwing 185-10 at the NCAA West Prelims and notching his spot in tonight’s field. Paller qualified in 21st out of 24th, making his performance at Hayward Field that much more impressive.

From Coach Lane. “Consistency has been the name of the game for Colton in the last half of the season. Since the UVA meet on April 15th until the MWC Championships, his throw has averaged 56.38. He threw just above his average today, which earned him a coveted top eight position. So while he was gunning for a PR, just being consistent was what helped him tremendously.”

The senior from Shelton, Wash. was an All-Mountain West performer in both the Discus and the Shot Put in 2021 where he helped the Cowboys secure their best finish in early 20 years this season.

Paller closes out his two-year Cowboy career as an All-American with the 27th best overall throw in the nation throughout the season and at No. 6 on the UW All-Time Top-10 Event List in the Discus with his personal best mark of 189-0 which was set as he took first in the 2021 Mountain West Outdoor Championships this year.

Said Paller, “It feels great to end as an All-American, I've sacrificed a lot of time and effort, so it's nice to see that it paid off.”

Lane concluded. “Colton is part of a very accomplished throws group that is graduating (Kirk Unland, Hap Frketich and Anna Gillis). It is special that he has capped off their careers as a group with that finish. There is some young talent behind that group who will hopefully carry the torch on and maintain our UW track team presence at the NCAA national meet.”

Stay up to date with Wyoming Cross Country and Track & Field by following @wyo_track on Twitter.

* University of Wyoming press release

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