Ayala Rising through the Rankings
    The USTFCCCA rankings put Sharon Ayala third in the country for the hammer throw.
    The USTFCCCA rankings put Sharon Ayala third in the country for the hammer throw.

    April 23, 2009

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    FRESNO, Calif. - Sharon Ayala's record-breaking performance at the Mt. SAC Relays last weekend has done more than just boost her confidence - it rocketed her up the rankings.

    With her hammer throw of 216 feet (65.84 meters), Ayala leapt from eighth to third place in the USTFCCCA rankings released Wednesday.

    "Sharon deserves this," said head coach Scott Winsor. "She really deserves it. Sharon has kept her focus and really worked hard to reach her goals. But I don't think she's done."

    In the rankings, Ayala sits behind the Nos. 1 and 3 finishers at the NCAA Championships last season. The Bulldog's mark, however, is the second-best mark in the NCAA for the 2009 season as one competitor is ranked ahead of her based on a throw from 2008.

    "Sharon hasn't hit her peak," said Winsor. "You can see the confidence she has when she steps into the ring. She is going to throw farther."

    The senior from Avenal, Calif., broke the Fresno State hammer throw record by ten feet Saturday. Ayala already owned the record, having most recently thrown a 205-4.75 (62.61m) at the Cal Poly Invitational on April 4, 2009. She originally surpassed Staci Darden's 1998 mark of 191-11 in 2008.

    "I'm happy for Sharon and for Lisa (Misipkea)," said Winsor. "Sharon's success shows that if you are committed to your goals, we can make it happen for you here."

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