TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Lauri Paredes Meza capped a 2018 to remember Saturday, grabbing gold in the javelin at the South American U23 Championships in Ecuador.
In her final U23 competition representing her native Paraguay, the Florida State redshirt sophomore posted a lifetime-best mark of 55.59 meters (182-4), breaking both her country’s age group record as well as her own FSU mark.
It was a sweet U23 finale for Paredes Meza, who won bronze in 2014 and silver in 2016 at the South American Championships and now has a gold medal to complete her collection.
“This was my last under-23 [competition] and now, finally, gold in my last one,” Paredes Meza said.
The gold medal finished off the finest calendar year of her still-young career.
Forced to sit out the 2017 campaign after arriving at FSU in January of that year, Paredes Meza made the most of her redshirt freshman season in 2018. She opened up her Seminole career by breaking Kari Keith’s 28-year old school javelin record at the FSU Relays in late March with a throw 53.50m (175-6).
She would break her own FSU record twice more during the collegiate season, winning the ACC title at Miami with a throw of 53.81m (176-6) before unleashing a new lifetime-best of 55.17m (181-0) at the NCAA Championships for a bronze medal finish.
In the process Paredes Meza became Florida State’s first ACC champion and NCAA scorer in the javelin, and with three years of eligibility remaining, she is just getting started.
“I am so excited for next year,” she said.