Stanford University senior thrower Lena Giger continued her momentum in the shot put from the indoor season by establishing an outdoor personal record and climbing to No. 2 on Stanford's all-time performers' list Friday at the Stanford Invitational.
Giger, who broke the Stanford indoor record this winter and placed a career-best sixth at the NCAA Indoor National Championships, had a PR throw of 57 feet, 9.5 inches (17.61 meters) on Friday to open the outdoor season. The throw gave Giger and Stanford a victory in the shot put by more than five feet. The throw also jumped 1984 Olympian Carol Cady's mark on the Cardinal all-time list. Only Jillian Camarena, another Olympian, is now ahead of Giger in Stanford history.
Four of Giger's six throws exceeded 17 meters, and she accomplished her record-setting throw in front of her father, Dave Giger, who was her coach when she won three Class 2A state championships in a row (2012-14) in the event while at Highland High School.
"It's definitely building on the momentum from indoors," Giger said. "The series was great (four throws over 17 meters). It picks up really where we left off. This opener was a great meet hands down, and honestly, it was also quite unexpected. We took a few weeks off from competing after Indoor Nationals, which was definitely needed, so I was hoping to ease back into things."
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Giger said her reaction to her performance was definitely one of shock because she was not expecting a throw that far this early in the season.
"Both my coach (Stanford throws coach Zeb Sion) and I started cheering but then thought we maybe misread the lines and it was closer to 16 meters, so it was a day of unexpected excitement," she said.
Giger said her goal for the outdoor season distance-wise is to break Camerena's school record of 59-6.75 (18m).
"I still have a ways to go to achieve that, and it’s definitely a lofty goal, but I think will all the work we’ve done so far this year and are continuing to do, I can get there," she said. "I’m still a bit shocked by yesterday, if I’m being totally honest, and it just makes me super excited for the rest of the season."
Giger and her Stanford teammates have their rivalry meet this Saturday at the University of California.
"That will be a fun team effort, and then we’ll start concentrating more on the championship season as we go into May," she said.