Looking for a sure thing in this uncertain world of ours? Here you go.
Texas A&M’s Shelbi Vaughan won the title last year. She then spent the fall and winter training rather than playing volleyball. This year, she threw 64.52m at the SEC Championships, which has her ranked among the top ten female discus throwers in the world.
Can Michigan State Freshman Katelyn Daniels (59.06m at the Big 10 meet)…
…or Wisconsin Senior Kelsey Card (59.91m at the West Regional)…
…pull off the upset?
Here are Vaughan’s throws at various meets this season:
Regional (May 28) 60.93m
SEC (May 14) 64.52m
TCU Invite (May 2) 58.69m
Sun Angel (April 9) 58.70m
Stanford Invite (April 3) 59.19m
Texas Relays (March 25) 61.48m
Baldy Castillo (not sure who that is) (March 20) 59.49m
Any of those throws would be far enough to win in Eugene.
Wild Card: None. Should be a great battle for second between Katelyn and Kelsey–two outstanding Big 10 throwers.
This is a whole ‘nother story.
LSU’s Rodney Brown hit 65.04m in April at Penn…
…and with 6 meets over 63 meters this season has been Mr. Consistency.
Virginia has two dynamic sophomores…Filip Mihaljevic (63.11m PB):
…and Jordan Young (62.27m at the East Regional):
Sam Mattis of Penn threw his PB of 62.13m last year…
…but has been over 61 meters on three different occasions this season.
And what about Alabama soph Hayden Reed, the defending NCAA and USATF champion?
He has struggled a bit this year, hitting a season’s best 60.70m on April 17, and finishing 10th at the East Regional with a toss of 57.45m.
But can you count a guy out a year after he won the USATF meet as a college freshman?
And this year’s champion will be…
When we talked about Mattis, Trof got a gut feeling–and I don’t think it was from the cucumber dip. Trof thinks Mattis is a great athlete who is ready to break loose.
Reed caught lightening in a bottle last year, but I can’t see that happening again.
I’d say Brown would be considered a lock but for the memory of last year’s meet, when he threw 63.34m at the regional but finished 10th in Eugene with a disappointing 58.47m.
As a coach, you always hope your athletes learn from experience, and I think Brown will ultimately benefit from last year’s flameout.
He’s our man.
Wild Card: Mihaljevic. He’s a huge guy (6’7″) who talks like the Terminator. What’s not to like?