The northwest winds Wednesday were strong enough to possibly change the discus record book for the Harold Scott Track Invitational at Beechner Athletic Complex.
It happened on the girls side, as Elkhorn South’s Ellie Akough broke the 25-year-old meet record with a fling of 149 feet, the second-best throw in the state this season behind the 158-9 thrown by Nebraska volleyball recruit Kalynn Meyer of Superior.
Throwing into the consistent breeze, Lincoln East junior Tyler Brown improved on his personal best by unleashing a 188-10 toss to win the boys discus, the best mark in the state this spring. But it fell short of the meet record of 192-6 by East’s Scott McPherren in 1994.
“The wind was really good during the preliminaries,” said Brown, who got his winning throw on his first attempt. “The wind died a little and it changed direction for the finals, so it wasn’t quite as helpful.”
McPherren, who went on to throw the discus at UCLA, is still the standard when it comes to the discus at East, as his school record of 198-9 is fifth on the state’s all-time chart.
That provides plenty of incentive every time Brown hits the ring on top of the competition he’s facing this season. And he knows at practice the spots he has to hit to be competitive with the legend.
“It’s always there, that’s what I’m shooting for,” Brown said of McPherren’s mark. “I’ve always heard stories about how he bounced them (the discus) off the track in practice. I can get them to the track on one or two hops, but I’ve never gotten one there in the air like he did.”
Brown has not lost a discus competition since finishing second in last year’s Class A state meet. He won his age group (15-16) in the Junior Olympic Nationals last summer and is undefeated this spring in four meets.
He’s been steadily improving all season, throwing 179 feet in his first outing, at the Lincoln Northeast Relays, and going 184-6 for a personal best last Saturday at the Papillion-La Vista South Invitational before eclipsing that mark Wednesday.
“I’ve grown a little taller and filled out a little more, and that’s helped,” the 6-foot-4 Brown said. “I thought I would be set back by the weather early in the season, but I threw 179 after only four outdoor practices, so I felt good about where I was.”
Brown also felt good about his shot put performance, winning with a personal-best 53-6½ on his final attempt.
“That was a huge comeback on the last throw,” he said. “My freshman year I had a wrist issue in the shot and it was still a little bit of a problem last year. But it’s not a factor at all this year and it’s made a difference.”
Lincoln High’s Darius Luff swept the boys hurdle events, winning the 110-meter highs in 14.14 seconds and the 300 intermediates in :39.58. The Nebraska recruit was off the :13.6 (second on the all-time chart) he ran Saturday at the Papillion-La Vista South Invitational, but the 300 time was his fastest this spring.
“The 110s felt good today,” Luff said. “The wind affected me a little, it blew me close to that 10th hurdle and it knocked me off-stride a little.
“I’d like to be a little lower in the 300s at this point,” Luff added. “This year I’m struggling with my steps between the hurdles, but I’ll get it worked out.”
Passmore Mudundulu won two individual events for the Links, taking the long jump (22-4½) and triple jump (46-8), the top mark in Class A this season. Mudundulu already leads the state in the long jump with the 23-2½ he had Saturday at the Papillion-La Vista South meet.
Fremont captured the boys team title 136-120 over Lincoln High in the 12-team meet. The Tigers broke the meet record in the 1,600 relay (3:24.27) and also got a gold medal from Wes Ferguson in the 800 (1:57.73).
Lincoln East outscored Lincoln Pius X 124.5-99 to win the girls team title. The Spartans got first-place performances from Ellie Hartter in the 200 (:25.93), Jenna Muma in the 1,600 (5:19.87) and Abby Volkmer in the 3,200 (11:52.31).