Riddick in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd"

Montclair, NJ (6/15/09) – Sophomore Monique Riddick (Edison, NJ / Edison), the NCAA Division III indoor and outdoor national champion in the shot put collected one final honor for her incredible 2008-09 campaign as she was featured in Sports Illustrated’s  “Faces in the Crowd” in the magazine’s June 15 issue.

Riddick becomes the seventh Montclair State student-athlete to appear in faces in the last eight years as she joins Stephanie Romanko (Soccer – Dec. 2002), Rami Ratel (wrestling – Apr. 2003), Sarah Levine (field hockey – Oct. 2003), Cathy Homiek (lacrosse – Apr. 2004), Gian Paul Gonzalez (basketball – Dec. 2005) and Brianna Gillin (lacrosse – Apr. 2007).

Riddick, who won her second NCAA indoor championship in March, claimed her third career national title overall as she smashed her own school record and set a Don Drumm Stadium mark with a throw of 15.77 meters (51-feet, 9-inches) back on May 23. She became the ninth athlete in Division III history to win the indoor and outdoor crowns in the same season and the first since Robyn Jarocki of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2005-06.

Riddick also became the first MSU competitor to win an outdoor title since Tierra Hicks (400 Hurdles) in 2003 and third overall. Nacole Moore won the shot put in 2002. She joined Dewayne Stevens (400 Meters in 1992) as the only track athletes to win an indoor and outdoor championship in the same year and she also tied Stevens with her third crown.

Riddick entered the NCAAs with the best thrown in the nation this season as she threw 15.10 meters (49-feet, 6.5-inches) at the ECAC Championships on May 16. In her first throw, she put the rest of the field on notice as she recorded the 15.77 meter mark. No one would even come close as that mark would be the one to put Riddick on top of the podium as the national champion.

In fact, of her final four throws, any one of those marks would have made a winner out of Riddick, who bested the second-place competitor by nearly four feet.  

The victory capped off an amazing outdoor season and a tremendous year overall for Riddick. During the outdoor campaign, she won the shot put in seven of the eight meets she entered – the lone non-first place finish coming at the Penn Relays where she was second in a field of Division I competitors. Named the Outstanding Female Field Athlete of the Year at the NJAC Championships, Riddick easily surpassed the automatic qualifying mark of 14.20 meters in every meet and was the only person to reach the 15-meter standard throughout the season.

During the indoor campaign, Riddick also earned a rare distinction in MSU history as she joined Lindo in winning back-to-back national championships. She is the fifth athlete in Division III meet history to win multiple times and the fourth to go back-to-back in the event.

For Riddick, it was nearly a case of déjà vu. Last year, she squeaked her way into the final as she put up a qualifying mark on her final first-round throw and then posted her best throw on her final attempt to capture the national title. This year it was same story. After fouling on her first two attempts, Riddick needed a solid mark on her final throw just to make it into the finals. She then uncorked the throw of her MSU career sending the shot 47-feet, 2.5-inches (14.39 meters), the best throw by any competitor at that point.

In her final three throws, Riddick would not match that distance however it wouldn’t matter as none of the other seven competitors in the finals could match it either as Riddick claimed her second national championship.

The victory capped a tremendous season for Riddick, who entered the NCAA indoor championship with the second-best throw in the nation. She was just one of two athletes to eclipse the automatic qualifying mark of 14.00 meters, a feat she achieved four times, including the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships where she was named the Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete as she set the meet record by throwing 14.29 meters. In seven meets Riddick took part in this indoor season, she finished first in five of them. In the two meets she did not win, she was second and fourth against field comprised of mostly Division I competitors.