Kansas Relays — Dudarev Climbs Collegiate Hammer List Before Home Fans

Lawrence, Kansas, April 19-21—There’s no place like home. In this case Gleb Dudarev’s collegiate domicile. Throwing in his home ring at the Kansas Relays on Friday, KU soph Gleb Dudarev whirled himself up to No. 5 on the all-time collegiate hammer list with a whopping 256-0 (78.04) fifth-round heave.

The next four throwers below Dudarev on the Collegiate ATL after he was done all won NCAA titles. (KANSAS ATHLETICS)

The 21-year-old Belarusian, who placed 3rd last year at the NCAA, got there in steps. His first two throws flew 239-0 (72.86) and 238-5 (72.67). Then Dudarev got on a 3-throw roll: 246-5 (75.12), a Kansas Relays record and 2½-foot improvement on his PR set at Sun Angel two weeks ago.

At that juncture, “I told him he just had to stay more relaxed and deal with his technical throwing instead of trying to force it and throw far,” said KU throws coach Andy Kokhanovsky. The advice took as Dudarev bombed 251-1 (76.54) on his fourth and then the topper.

“Yeah, Coach told me this, that I could do better because I was ready for those big throws,” said Dudarev. “I worked hard, I was ready.”

That assessment verged on understatement. Dudarev’s final toss reached 255-3 (77.80), and that 5th-rounder earned further distinction in a couple ways. The 35-year-meet record he knocked off (244-2/74.43) belonged to Estonian Yuriy Tamm whose affiliation back in ’83 was Soviet Union. Tamm won bronze medals at the Olympics of ’80 and ’88 and a silver at the ’87 World Championships.

By one centimeter, Dudarev’s mark would have earned him bronze had he thrown it at last summer’s World Championships.

As Kokhanovsky observed, Dudarev doesn’t even need to throw farther to be competitive internationally. “I think it’s pretty far from an issue,” said the coach. “He just needs to throw far in the big meets when it matters, in a big competition. This is enough to throw in the Olympics or probably the World Championships.”

Dudarev finished the competition, a win by more than 35ft over Nebraska’s Nicholas Percy, in a state of minor shock.

“I didn’t feel like I can do that but I did,” he said. “I don’t feel now, maybe I will feel for future, like tomorrow, what I did.”

What’s in that future?, he was asked: “Next [NCAA] national championships and probably European Championships.”□

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