WKU produces two All-Americans to cap off track and field year

Ignacio Guerra/WKUsports.com

Lucas Aulbach

WKU’s 2011-2012 season ended on a high note at the NCAA National Championships last weekend as two athletes earned All-American accolades.

Senior Ignacio Guerra earned a spot as a first-team All-American in the javelin throw and senior Monteka Flowers was named second-team AllAmerican for her efforts in the discus and shot put events.

Receiving the award was a dream come true, Flowers said.

“It feels amazing,” she said. “It’s something that’s really special.”

Head Coach Erik Jenkins said the awards are a capstone on a great year for WKU track and field.

“To take numerous individuals to the NCAA regional meet and then advance forward to the NCAA Championships, and then have two All-Americans come out of that, you could say it was a pretty good year for us,” Jenkins said.

Guerra, who finished fourth in the NCAA National Championships with a mark of 245 feet, 6 inches, is not new to national attention. The former Chilean Oympian was a first-team All-American last year as well, and holds both WKU and Chilean national records in the javelin throw.

Jenkins said he’s not surprised to see Guerra back as an All-American.

“We expect every one of our athletes to go out and compete for All-American, but you have to feel good for him to go out and earn a spot on the first-team,” he said.

Flowers is on the All-American roster for the first time in her collegiate career. The senior’s performance at the NCAA Championships was the last time she could compete for WKU, and she said that factor motivated her.

“I was out there doing it for my school, and I was out there doing it for my coach,” she said.

Jenkins said the growth Flowers’ exhibited during her time at WKU is something he hopes every WKU athlete works for.

“At the NCAA level everything is hard, but to watch Monteka continue to throw better and better toward the end of the year is exactly what you ask for as a coach,” he said. “She trained hard, she focused, and to see her just culminate was a very good thing. We’re all so happy for her.”

Flowers finished 15th overall in the women’s discus event and recorded a mark of 170-4 on her final throw, the second farthest of her career.

Flowers said she knew from the beginning that she had a shot to earn a spot on the All-American team.

“I knew what I had to do to make it to the first team or second team, and I knew I could do it,” she said.

The NCAA Championships marked the end of the 2011-2012 athletic year for the track and field teams. Jenkins said both the men’s and women’s teams both showed signs of building a strong foundation for the program heading into the future.

“I’m very happy with the way we finished the year overall,” he said. “You go into every year looking to win championships — we won four of six possible championships and were second in one. That kind of success is something we definitely want to build on.”