It pays to remember that, in the zero-sum world of wins and losses, one person's triumph is another person's heartbreaking defeat.
Ask Bemidji State's Sheena Devine (pictured) ... or better yet her NCAA Championship rival Jessica Selby-Tallman of Missouri Southern University.
At last weekend's NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in Mankato, for the second straight year, Selby-Tallman led the women's shot put going into the final round of competition. Just as she did at the 2007 championships in Boston, she even improved upon her competition-leading mark on her final throw.
And, remarkably, in both cases, Selby-Tallman finished the competition in second place. In both cases she was defeated by a even bigger final-round throw from Bemidji State's Devine.
In 2007, Devine launched a 51-0 1/4 throw to better Selby-Tallman's 50-6 3/4 . Last Saturday, Devine, a North Branch native, sent the shot 52-2 1/2 from the toe-board to beat Selby-Tallman's 50-9 1/2 throw. With the throw, Devine capped an undefeated season with what is her third consecutive NCAA indoor title.
Devine told the Bemidji Pioneer, HERE: “This championship feels good, I had my doubts at first but it feels very good. Coming into my last throw I was thinking that this is my last indoor throw ever and I want to keep my title of being undefeated so I went in and gave it all I had."
And, heartbreak ...
Selby-Tallman's coach Patty Vavra told the Joplin Globe, HERE: “Jessica is disappointed, but she competed well. She got beat by a better thrower who is obviously very good in the clutch. ... It was evident those two were the best throwers in the meet.”
Photo courtesy of Bemidji State University.