GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 29, 2021) – Rutgers University-Camden senior Jude Misko (Philadelphia, PA/Cherry Hill East) entered the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship having won every one of his competitions this season in the men’s hammer throw.
Misko completed his perfect season here Saturday at North Carolina A&T State University by finishing first of 17 athletes to capture the Division III national title in the hammer. Misko’s winning throw of 60.48 meters came on his first throw, which proved to be enough to beat runner-up Jacob Bugella of Wisconsin-Stout, who recorded a 60.01-meter toss on his second throw.
Misko becomes the second Rutgers-Camden individual to win a NCAA track championship and the third national track champion overall for the Scarlet Raptors. Tim VanLiew was the Division III national champion in the javelin in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013. His title also makes him the 10th men’s outdoor track & field All-American at Rutgers-Camden. The last one was Matt Gross, who finished sixth in the javelin in 2019.
The NCAA national title marked the second time in Misko’s illustrious collegiate career he has won a national championship. As a member of the Rowan College at Gloucester County track team before transferring to Rutgers-Camden, Misko captured the NJCAA Division III hammer title in 2017.
Misko opened his spring track season finishing first of 11 athletes in the hammer at the Stockton Invitational #1 on March 26 with a throw of 57.97 meters. That mark broke his own program record of 54.59 meters set in 2019, but he was just getting started on establishing a Rutgers-Camden standard. He ended up topping that mark two more times, finally raising the bar to 61.19 meters when he finished first of 10 athletes at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Collegiate Invitational on April 24.
Misko nearly matched his program record with a hammer throw of 61.16 meters when he won the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship on May 9. He placed first in a field of 16 athletes.
Misko’s throw at the NCAA Championship marked his third winning throw of 60-plus meters in his seven meets this season. On two other occasions, his winning throw went over 59 meters.
During his brief time at Rutgers-Camden, Misko has won two NJAC hammer championships (2019 and 2021; the 2020 outdoor season was cancelled due to the pandemic). He was named the NJAC Men’s Track Field Athlete of the Week three times this season (March 29, April 26 and May 10) and should add a fourth honor when the conference releases its final weekly honors next week.
Misko also won the NJAC indoor track championship in the weight throw during the 2019-20 campaign. He didn’t get a chance to defend that crown since the 2020-21 indoor season was cancelled due to the pandemic. He set the Rutgers-Camden program record in the weight throw (17.03 meters) at the NJAC Championships Feb. 24, 2020.
Misko also has won the ECAC championship in the hammer throw, earned USTFCCCA All-Atlantic Region status in 2019, and added an ECAC title in the weight throw during the 2019-20 indoor season.