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Not in Kansas Anymore
the story of the Friday throws

by Dave Devine

Anyone who’s ever driven across Kansas knows that the land sprawls for miles in every direction; there's long stretches where you can see clear to the horizon. Maybe that helped Kansas seniors Iain Trimble (Overbrook KS) and Luke Bryant (Clearwater KS) cover the distances they did in winning Fridays’s NON boys’ javelin and discus—all that practice aiming for the horizon.

Trimble Saves Best for Last

Trimble’s event was first, taking place on the infield of the Irwin Belk Track, with a javelin runway that extended across all eight lanes and underneath the scoreboard. The brawny Kansan came in as the only boy in the nation with a throw over 220 feet, and kept it that way with his 222-02 win Friday afternoon. His first throw of the competition would’ve been good enough for the title, as his round one 213-04 held up through all three rounds and the finals. Washington’s David Musson came closest to threatening, when he got off a second round throw of 212-07 that was within a foot of the leader. On his third attempt, Pennsylvania’s Brian Moore reached a PR 209-08, which solidified the finish order before a single throw in the finals.

The finals were uncharacteristically flat for all competitors, with most throws falling under 200 feet until Trimble ripped the 222-02 on his final throw, a monster effort that left him tumbling to the ground, where he continued to holler after his disappearing implement.

His hands-first landing on the approach was a familiar one. “Usually I do that when I get off a big throw,” he said afterwards.

Despite being a clear favorite, Trimble was nothing but humble and gracious in victory. “I got lucky, I guess,” he said. “There’s a lot of good guys out here...I didn’t want to come in and think I would win. It’s definitely the biggest competition I’ve been in, with that many guys over 200.”

 Bryant Gets the 6 Farthest Throws of the Day

Just outside the stadium, another Kansas thrower was attempting to reach 200 feet with an entirely different implement. Luke Bryant, seeded second in the field behind Oklahoma’s Geoffrey Tabor (209-05), did more than win the boys’ discus on Friday, he unleashed the six best throws of the competition. Opening with a 201-00 (61.27m) that would have carried the day even if he’d made no improvements, Bryant spun the disk with impressive consistency, producing a series that went 201-00, 199-03 and 199-06 in the rounds and 195-05, 201-07 and 191-11 in the finals. The 201-07 on his 5th throw ended up being the winner. Utah’s Colin Boevers placed second at 182-02, as the crowd on hand seemed to be anticipating a big throw from Tabor that never materialized. Iowa’s Nick Brayton claimed third instead (181-02), while Tabor fouled his final three throws en route to his 180-11 fourth place finish.

After the competition, Bryant was surprised to have recorded the six best throws. “I knew I’d probably have to come close to my PR, but I just felt really lucky today. Geoffrey didn’t have his best day, so I felt lucky to win with a 201.” Discussing his unorthodox form, which takes advantage of his height while generating tremendous torque leading into the release, Bryant admitted, “As far as my form, I’ve just tried to create my own. I’m not the hugest, I’m not exactly like everyone else, so I had to find my own technique to throw far.”

Asked what he thought of two Kansans sweeping the boys’ throws on Friday, and whether he ever considered challenging Trimble in the jav, Bryant laughed and said, “I don’t throw the javelin at all. I think Iain throws the discus a bit. He and I are pretty good friends though. We talk a lot about throws and we get along really well.”

Girls Hammer Throw

Marietta GA’s Allison Horner, a member of the dominant Georgia throws development team Throw1Deep, won the girls’ hammer with a personally disappointing 166-11. Entering with a best of 177-06, Horner fell well short of that, but still prevailed by nearly nine feet over second placer Victoria Flowers RI (158-03). “I came in prepared to try to get over 180,” Horner said, “but it was an off day. I would even have been happy with 170s, but 166 is close, so it’s good.” She attributed most of her difficulty, and that of the rest of the field, to the looming throws cage with its narrow opening. “I’m not used to throwing in a cage like this, we don’t really have a big cage where I’m from...I think the worst thing about it is the color of the net, because when you’re turning all you see is this big green thing and it’s intimidating.” Commenting on the support of the Throw1Deep group, which also features third place freshman Patrice Gates (155-00), Horner noted, “We’re all a big family, we’re all friends. We hang out when we’re not practicing and when you have fun at practice it helps a lot.”