Former Illini Gia Lewis-Smallwood won the discus title at the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships to qualify for the IAAF World Championships.
June 23, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former Illinois women's track and field athlete Gia Lewis-Smallwood (1998-01) won her first national discus title at the USA Outdoor Championships to advance to her second IAAF World Championships which take place in Moscow, Russia in August 10-18.
"I'm so excited for Gia," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "She continues to show that she is one of the best in the world. Coach Turk felt that she was ready to throw very well. He has done a great job with her and her progression each year proves that. Our alumni are making us very proud."
Lewis-Smallwood won the discus title in record form, setting a season best and new Drake Stadium record of 213-8 (65.13m). The throw was nearly four meters farther than the competition and is currently ranked number six in the world. Lewis-Smallwood will be joined in Moscow by Whitney Ashley (Chula Vista Elite) and Elizabeth Podominick (Mac Wilkins Throwers Academy).
"Gia has had a terrific season and had an awesome performance today," event coach Mike Turk said. "She dominated the competition with a big first throw of 65.13m. Her preparation and execution was right on. This was the first step to her achieving her season goal of making the world championship final. She definitely achieved that mission. I am so happy for her win. She just keeps getting better."
The prelims of the discus throw at the IAAF World Championships will begin on August 10.
Discus Final at USA Senior Outdoor Championships
* = Drake Stadium Record
1. Gia Lewis-Smallwood, Nike - 213-8 (65.13m)*
2. Whitney Ashley, Chula Vista Elite - 200-9 (61.19m)
3. Elizabeth Podominick, Mac Wilkins Throwers Academy - 199-1 (60.69m) (out of 16)