EUGENE, Oregon — Emmonnie Henderson’s best event all season had been shot put, and that held true at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Henderson, a Louisville senior, threw 58 feet, 9 1/2 inches in the June 8 shot put competition to claim second place.
“I was more confident this year than I was last year,” said Henderson, who finished 13th and 16th in shot put her two previous trips to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. “I guess it comes from maturity — that’s one aspect — and just being very persistent and consistent with your practicing.”
Henderson finished sixth in shot put at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, but throughout outdoor season, she didn’t finish lower than second in the event.
Two days after earning runner-up in shot put, Henderson threw the discus 175-6 1/4 to finish 14th. As a sophomore, Henderson took third in discus at NCAAs, but this year’s performance improved on her finishing 22nd in 2016.
“The discus didn’t go how I had wanted it to go, but discus wasn’t going right for me all year,” Henderson said. “It was disappointing, but it was no surprise.”
Her shot put performance earned Henderson first-team All-American, and she earned second-team All-American in discus.
“I couldn't be more excited for Emmonnie," Louisville head coach Dale Cowper said in a press release after shot put. “She was at her best tonight and was able to pick up an NCAA runner-up finish. She was in great control of her emotions throughout the competition and came up big for us tonight.”
Henderson, who shared publicly she is LGBT in October, scored the only eight points for the Louisville women’s team, and the Cardinals tied for 32nd at the championships.
The meet wrapped up her NCAA outdoor track and field career, but she has a season of indoor eligibility remaining and plans to stay at Louisville for that and work on a master’s degree.
Her next competition is the U.S. Championships in Sacramento, California, where she is scheduled to compete June 24 in the shot put. A top-two finish there would earn her a trip to the World Championships in London.
“I’m kind of hoping to do the same thing I did at Eugene just with a little bit further mark,” Henderson said.
Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT.
Chris Burns (men’s basketball coach) announced June 7 on Facebook that he left his position as Bryant men’s basketball assistant coach and moved to Washington, D.C.
Nich Lee Parker (head coach, Columbia men’s rowing) saw his team finish sixth at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships on June 4 in Gold River, California. The Lions’ lightweight eight finished sixth in the grand final, and the team’s lightweight four finished fourth. Columbia won the IRA National Championships last season.
Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) watched the Bruins (48-15 overall) go 1-2 at the Women’s College World Series on June 1-3 to end the season. UCLA opened with a 2-1 loss to LSU, followed that by beating Texas A&M 8-2, and ended with a 1-0 loss to Washington.
Carly Muscaro (senior, Merrimack women’s track & field) was named the Division II Women’s Athlete of the Year on June 13 by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards. She is to receive the award in a live telecast June 26 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. “To be considered the Division II Honda Athlete of the Year is humbling and incredibly gratifying, and I cannot think of a better way to conclude my time at Merrimack,” Muscaro said in a press release. On June 1, she received the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II Outdoor Women's Track Athlete of the Year.
Erik Hall can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HallErik or on Facebook. If you are an out LGBT athlete or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, please email Erik.