Devine shines! BSU thrower garners third National Championship
Saturday, March 15, 2008
MANKATO, Minn. (Myers Field House) - Bemidji State senior thrower Sheena Devine (North Branch, Minn.) completed a perfect indoor season with her third consecutive NCAA Division II shot put national championship, second indoor at Myers Field House in Mankato, Minn. Teammate Joe Remitz (Sr., North Branch, Minn.) received All-American accolades placing second in the men’s shot put.

Devine came into the meet after winning the shot put in each of the nine events in which she participated and was the second-rated participant heading into this season’s championships. Saturday she proved why she was the defending national champion.

The women’s shot put was a two-participant race from the start. Missouri Southern’s Jessica Selby-Tallman started the competition off with a throw of 50-feet (15.40 m) while Devine’s first throw went 49-09.24 (15.17 m) to start the race. Selby-Tallman’s mark would hold up until Devine’s last throw of the competition. For the third consecutive season Devine would shine under the pressure as she launched her final throw of the competition 52-02.50 (15.91m) out distancing her nearest competitor by 1-4.00 to claim her second indoor championship. Devine’s championship toss broke her own school record (51-07.75) by over five inches.

“This championship feels good, I had my doubts at first but it feels very good,” said Devine. “Coming into my last throw I was thinking that this is my last indoor throw ever and I want to keep my title of being undefeated so I went in and gave it all I had.”

Devine’s individual title is the 21st in Bemidji State history and the fourth at the NCAA Division II level. She is one of only two BSU athletes to have earned three or more individual national titles. She joins John Tobler who was a three-time NAIA champion in the men’s gymnastics during the mid 1960s.

She is now a four-time shot put All-American earning two honors in the indoor and outdoor seasons.

“Sheena’s championship is special, she had confidence in herself and proved why she is the defending national champion,” commented head coach Craig Hougen.

On the men’s side of things, Remitz was also exceptional. In his third consecutive trip to the Indoor National Championships, the senior used a throw of 59-05.50 (18.12m) to place him in second half way through the event. Coming into his final toss Remitz had solidified at least a second place finish. Remitz gave it his all to try and over take Bryan Vickers from Ashland to claim his first championship but came up short earning a second place finish, his best finish of his career.

The second place finish in the shot marked the sixth time Remitz has earned All-American accolades and his fifth All-American award in the shot put. Remitz becomes the first BSU track and field athlete to be named an All-American in two events as he garnered a sixth place finish in the weight throw yesterday with a record breaking throw of 62-03.00.

“It feels great to be in the top three, my first year throwing at Bemidji I took third in the outdoor meet and haven’t been there since so to finish in the top two is great,” said Remitz. “Being an All-American in both the shot put and the weight throw means a lot to me, I work hard to earn All-American honors and this year really paid off for me.”

“Joe came out and was tough right away, he nailed his final throw of the preliminaries so we new it would be hard for someone to knock him out of second,” commented Hougen. “That allowed Joe to be able to go and try and win it, which was nice.”

“Joe and Sheena have given BSU a little bit of national recognition and people recognize Bemidji State when we walk into a national meet.”

Devine, Remitz and the rest of the BSU track and field teams return to action April 5 when they travel to St. Paul, Minn. to compete in the Hamline Invitational--the first event of the 2008 outdoor season.

A complete list of participating athletes and real time results can be viewed at: http://www.msumavericks.com/storyindex.php?sid=49

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

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