Stanford University junior thrower Lena Giger, a Highland native, set a new personal record in the shot put with a mark of 54 feet, 2 inches (16.51 meters) en route to winning the event Friday at the Stanford Invitational.
Giger, a Highland High School grad, currently ranks 10th in the nation and moved up one spot to No. 4 at Stanford all-time, passing Melissa Yunghans, who threw 53-10 ¼ (16.41m) in 2008.
“She had a throw in warmups today that was even farther than her best mark today,” Stanford throws coach Zeb Sion said. “It’s just a matter of relaxing and executing. Her feel for the event is growing weekly. It’s really about her feel and confidence.”
Giger said the indoor season was a good season in which Stanford had a handful of meets in Seattle and each meet was a step in the right direction for her.
“Everything finally came together during the last meet and I was able to PR with a 54-8.75,” she said. “Finishing 19th was a bit bittersweet because the top 16 make it to the NCAA Indoor Championships, but I’m still extremely thrilled with the throw nonetheless. This past weekend we had our second outdoor meet at the Stanford Invitational and I threw an outdoor PR of 54-2. There wasn’t a whole lot of competition at this meet, so it was a good time to simply focus and try to throw farther than my previous marks.”
It was already the second win of the season for Giger, who also claimed the shot put title at the outdoor season opener, the Hornet Invitational at Sacramento State, on Saturday, March 18 with a distance of 52-0.5 (15.86 meters).
“I’m super excited about the rest of the season because the throw this past weekend felt extremely easy and I’m confident there’s plenty more to come,” Giger said. “We have several more meets this season, which will hopefully include the NCAA Outdoor Championships if things keep going in the right direction. We recently had a coaching change, and I think a lot of my early success this season has been in part to Coach Sion, who has been absolutely wonderful to work with. We’re still a couple months out from regionals and nationals, but I’m feeling great with where we’re at, and I can’t wait to finish off a great junior season.”