Britlyn Garrett knew she had already won the javelin title at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships.
But the Cal Lutheran senior still had one final throw remaining in her college career.
Garrett left no doubt she was the best in the field, launching a school-record throw of 154 feet, 8 inches on Saturday afternoon at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to put the icing on her NCAA championship cake.
"I didn't want to settle for just winning," Garrett said. "What is the point of that last throw if I wasn't going to do anything with it. I thought, 'Why not put on a show right now and live it up.' I knew the moment it left my hand it was good. I just wanted to know how far it went."
Garrett's national title gives CLU four in the last three years.
Eric Flores won the shot put and hammer throw titles last year and the hammer throw title in 2010.
Garrett was the only NCAA champion from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the men's or women's competitions this year.
"I am super excited. I still don't believe it," Garrett said Sunday while packing her dorm at CLU. "It's like a dream come true. It all happened so fast. It was just awesome."
The 5-foot-7 Garrett had a large contingent of family, friends and teammates in the stands supporting her at Burns Stadium.
"I love competing in front of people, and it was fun knowing they were up there," Garrett said. "I knew exactly where they were because they were all wearing purple and yellow and being loud. I could hear them every throw."
Garrett entered the meet as the No. 2 seed, but was confident she could emerge as No. 1.
"This had been a goal for me this year and I knew I could achieve it," said Garrett, who finished 18th at the NCAA meet last season. "I wasn't content with how nationals went last year and I knew I could do so much better. It helped having been to nationals before. I was super relaxed and I was in the right mindset. I was very confident."
Once her dorm is clean, Garrett and her mother plan to drive home to Sammamish, Wash.
Garrett graduated two weeks ago with a degree in business, and she will begin job hunting after a two-week family trip to Europe next month.
"I don't really have anything lined up yet just because I've so been so focused on track," she said. "But it was worth it. I couldn't imagine a better way to end my college career."
--- Published in the Ventura County Star on May 28, 2012