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Brewer takes fifth at championships

USF senior Chandra Brewer attempted to become the first USF track and field athlete to win a National Championship since track and field legend Jon Dennis won the 5,000-meter title at the 1992 and 1993 championships, but the Bartow native’s throws in the shot put came up a few inches short.

At the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships, which are held at Sacramento State University, Brewer placed fifth with a throw of 54 feet, 4 1/2 inches. She also earned All-American honors for the third consecutive year, making her the first Bulls’ athlete to accomplish the feat.

“She did an outstanding job,” USF track and field coach Greg Thiel said. “From going in at 10th and moving up to fifth in the nation … breaking the school record along the way.”

Thiel said the championships were nothing new for Brewer, since she played with poise only seen in Olympians.

“She’s a big-time competitor; she wasn’t nervous because she’s been there before. She’s the kind of athlete that enjoys that type of forum. She likes that pressure; she likes that attention like all good athletes (do).”

Brewer holds various records at USF in her four years, including longest throw at shot put at 55-6. She was also the C-USA shot put champion all four years of her collegiate career. Since she’s on her way out the graduate door, her coach is sorry to see her go, but at the same time is impressed by the legacy she has left on athletics and USF as a school.

“She’s one of those types of athletes you don’t replace,” said Thiel, who is in his fourth season as head coach. “I think she’s left an outstanding (legacy). She was a three-time all-American. She won the conference in shot put every year she was in it. She was one of the co-vice presidents for the Student Advisory Committee. She’s definitely leaving a big mark on USF, I think. I just wish I could have her another year, because it has been a phenomenal run for her.”