USATF Men’s Discus — Form Goes Out The Window

Formcharted at No. 3, Sam Mattis got the second-best throw of his life to pull out a surprise win. (MIKE SCOTT)

“IF YOU COULD BET on track you could have made a lot of money,” said surprise discus winner Sam Mattis. Penn’s ’15 NCAA champion launched his season’s best 218-9 (66.69) in the first round and left the rest of the field chasing his mark. Surprise morphed into shock when holders of the last three national titles, Mason Finley (’16 & ’17) and favored Reggie Jagers (’18), finished 7th and 9th.

“It’s been years of frustration at championship meets,” said the delighted winner, tabbed for No. 3 coming in, “just little things going wrong and just not stepping up quite at the right time.” The enthusiastic 25-year-old, who has been recovering from a serious pectoral injury, said, “I was trying to focus on just one thing and let the throw come to me.”

Brian Williams, slotted as No. 5 on our formchart, took a similar path to Doha when he tossed a first-round 215-9 (65.76)—a PR by 13¼ inches (0.34)—and watched it stand up for silver. “I felt pretty decent today,” said the 24-year-old Ole Miss alum. “I wanted to go out and execute some things we’ve been working on in training and see if I could get a nice mark early on and watch the competition. I didn’t want to get too caught up in the stresses of being in a national meet.”

Surprising in 3rd was recent Alabama graduate Kord Ferguson, who tossed an enormous third-round foul then unleashed a thunderous fourth-round 207-6 (63.25), a lifetime best by almost 4 feet. “You’ve just got to take advantage of it,” he said. “You’ve got to have fun for the last three throws and it paid off. I’m pretty excited by that.”

Finley, having the IAAF Q, is the apparent final qualifier for the U.S. team, but he was clear that he would not start planning a trip until the final roster is released by USATF in coming weeks. “I honestly feel like my flow is off as far as rhythm,” said the ’17 WC bronze medalist. After opening the season well, “it was a really bad rabbit hole of poor technical decisions. Now I’m fighting my way through that; we’ll get back to work and climb on out.”

Said defending champ Jagers, “My dad passed away this past year so I really wanted to go out with a bang for him. It didn’t come true, but this might be a blessing in disguise because now I get to train for Olympics full-time. I made the Pan-American team so perhaps I’ll be able to redeem myself.”

The jubilant Mattis concluded, “If I’ve learned anything the last few years it’s how to deal with stress and adversity. I came in here throwing pretty good – and ready. It was just awesome to finally make a team.”


USATF MEN’S DISCUS RESULTS

(July 25)

1. Sam Mattis (Vel/NYAC) 218-9 (66.69)

(218-9, f, 203-4, f, 196-8, f) (66.69, f, 61.98, f, 59.95, f);

2. Brian Williams (Vel) 215-9 (65.76) PR

(215-9, 211-3, f, f, f, f) (65.76, 64.40, f, f, f, f);

3. Kord Ferguson (T1D) 207-6 (63.25) PR

(f, 197-3, f, 207-6, 204-11, 194-10) (f, 60.13, f, 63.25, 62.47, 59.39);

4. Luke Vaughn (unat) 202-8 (61.78) (202-8, 186-3, f, f, f, f) (61.78, 56.77, f, f, f, f);

5. Jared Schuurmans (unat) 201-4 (61.37) (184-0, 201-4, 198-2, 198-7, 193-9, 198-9) (56.09, 61.37, 60.41, 60.52, 59.07, 60.59);

6. Duke Kicinski (TxT) 201-0 (61.28) (f, 201-0, 193-6, f, f, 180-10) (f, 61.28, 58.99, f, f, 55.12);

7. Mason Finley (Nik) 200-3 (61.05);

8. Jordan Roach (unat) 198-4 (60.47) PR;

9. Reggie Jagers (IronWood) 196-1 (59.78);

10. Josh Syrotchen (unat) 196-0 (59.75);

11. Rodney Brown (unat) 194-4 (59.25);

12. Sam Welsh (Harv) 193-6 (58.98);

13. Jayson Kovar (unat) 190-1 (57.94);

14. Noah Kennedy White (unat) 186-6 (56.84);

15. Jason Harrell (Arete) 184-5 (56.23);

16. Kole Weldon (unat) 183-4 (55.89);

17. Jerimiah Evans (unat) 172-8 (52.64);

18. James Plummer (Arete) 172-7 (52.60). ◻︎

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