Kennesaw State's track and field program has its first national champion.
Daniel Haugh, a redshirt senior and offseason transfer from Alabama, won the hammer throw Wednesday at the NCAA championships in Austin, Texas.
It marked Kennesaw State's first national title since the university moved up to the Division I ranks in 2006.
“The only thought that comes to mind is thankful," Haugh said in a release. "Thankful to the Lord who makes this possible. Thankful for my parents, my coaching staff, my friends and family who believe in me and push me day in and day out. None of this would be possible without the community that I am surrounded with on a daily basis."
Haugh’s winning toss was 244 feet, 10 inches, making him the first athlete from the ASUN Conference to win an NCAA track and field title.
The Marietta-born Haugh, who graduated from St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta, led after the first two rounds with a toss of 238 feet, but he slipped to fourth heading into the final round.
Haugh's title-clinching throw was his fifth toss of the day. Kansas' Gleb Dudarev was a close second at 242-5, with Virginia's Hilmar Orn Jonsson third at 240-6.
With his title, Haugh also became the first Kennesaw State men's outdoor track and field athlete to earn first-team All-America honors.
"Proud seems like an understatement when I think about what Daniel Haugh did today," said Cale McDaniel, director of Kennesaw State's track and field program. "Daniel is the first Division I national champion at KSU and that is something we can all be proud of. I cannot say enough about coach Mike Judge and what his help has meant to our program. We are building something special here and Daniel Haugh just showed us the way."
Junior Paris Williams was 18th with 3,703 points after the first five events of the decathlon. He finished 11th in both the 100-meter dash (11.08 seconds) and high jump (6-3½).