Busy Throwers — Ross Shot CR, Alekna Goes Long

A 60-footer in ’23 and 5th at the NCAA, Jaida Ross snapped up the Collegiate Record at Triton. (RANDY MIYAZAKI/TAFPHOTO)

LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA, April 06 — Oregon’s Jaida Ross set alight UC San Diego’s Triton Invitational with a Collegiate Record, 64-8 (19.71), in the shot that perhaps Duck throws coach Brian Blutreich saw coming but others may not have.

An Oregon junior, Ross certainly garnered attention in January when she threw 61-9¾ (18.84) at the Razorback Invitational. That marked an improvement of more than a foot on her lifetime best set at Triton last year and jumped her to No. 9 on the Collegiate indoor ATL.

But the addition of nearly 3 more feet to her PR here shot Ross — pardon the pun — to another level altogether. The Oregon native opened well at 60-3¼ (18.37) in sunny, breezy SoCal and went 59-11¼ (18.27) on her second.

Then came the explosion as the rotational putter whirled across the circle for her third. Ross knew it was a big one and clapped hands to celebrate as the ball bounced into a log barrier at the back of the sector. Measurement showed the ball had flown 2¾ inches past Adelaide Aquilla’s CR. Aquilla, an Ohio State senior at the time, had nailed her long one in winning the ’22 NCAA.

Ross’s record, in a sense, “unifies” the CRs with coach Blutreich, who guided Jorinde van Klinken to the indoor CR, 64-2½. (19.57), last year — and before that, in ’21, the discus CR, 230-4 (70.22), when both coach and athlete were at Arizona State.

A day earlier at Triton, Ross had raised her discus PR by 2-1 (68cm) to 193-1 (58.31) placing 6th in a comp won by world champion Lagi Tausaga at 214-6 (65.38).


SP: 1. *Jaida Ross (Or) 64-8 (19.71) CR (old CR 64-5¼/19.64 Adelaide Aquilla [OhSt] ’22) (9, x A) (60-3¼, 59-11¼, 64-8, f, 61-5, 61-2¾) (18.37, 18.27, 19.71, f, 18.72, 18.66);

2. **Alida Van Daalen’ (Fl-Neth) 59-4¾ (18.10); 3. *Cierra Jackson (Fres) 57-¾ (17.39); 4. Amelia Campbell’ (GB) 56-5¼ (17.20); 5. ***Gracelyn Leiseth (Fl) 55-1 (16.79).

DT: 1. Lagi Tausaga (Nik) 214-6 (65.38); 2. Van Daalen’ 204-2 (62.23); 3. Patricia Kamga’ (Swe) 198-4 (60.46).

Alekna Reaches No. 10 All-Time

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, April 06 — Some 500 miles up the coast from La Jolla at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational, Mykolas Alekna spun his platter out to 234-2 (71.39) to take the world lead in the early Olympic year campaign.

The throw moved Alekna, 21, to No. 10 all-time, striking the late Ben Plucknett and his 234-0 (71.32) cast in ’83 from the compilation.

Although Alekna is a Cal junior and the Collegiate Record holder, he is redshirting this spring to concentrate on Paris preparations, thus will not claim a new CR. However, he gets credit for a record of another stripe.

It was on this same Edwards Stadium infield at last year’s Cal-Stanford dual that Alekna threw his 232-11 (71.00) CR. On that occasion the Lithuanian prodigy came up short of the facility record, also held by Plucknett since ’83. His long bomb this time handily exceeded it. His father Virgilijus is No. 2 on the all-time world list at 242-5 (73.88).

After fouling his opener, Alekna reached 229-1 (69.82) in round 2, the fourth-longest of his career after it landed. In round 3, releasing with remarkable velocity, he claimed his ATL spot and bettered his own U23 WR. No other thrower younger than 24 has flown a discus as far. See coach Mo Saatara’s video of the throw here.

For the 6-6/238 (1.98/108) Lithuanian, who made the decision to redshirt the Olympic season months ago, “It was a great day,” says his coach, Cal throws mentor Mo Saatara.

“We’re leading into the preparation for the main season and getting ready. So we decided to put together a small competitive period, about three competitions, so he gets used to competing close together, sort of like when you have the qualification round and then you have the finals a couple days apart.

“The three meets are going to be Brutus Hamilton, then Oklahoma [the Oklahoma Throws series meet in wind-blown Ramona on April 12], then the Mt. SAC Relays.”

Camryn Rogers, the Saatara-coached Cal alum who took Worlds hammer gold and the No. 1 World Ranking last year, began her season throwing 252-2 (76.87) for the world lead. The shortest cast in the Canadian’s series, her second, flew out to 248-7 (75.76).

Saatara expects lessons learned in ’23 will benefit Rogers in the Olympic season. He reminds, “Last year was her first season as a professional and just learning how to navigate that and being able to go to all the different meets around the world and being able to travel, compete at different places and make the preparations leading into the championships. I think she was very kind of fortunate.”

Look for further comments from Saatara in an article coming soon to our home page.


DT: 1. Mykolas Alekna’ (Lit) 234-2 (71.39) (WL) (10, x W)

(U.S. All-Comers Record—old, 234‑0/71.32 Ben Plucknett [US] ‘83)

(f, 229-1, 234-2, 223-11, 229-6, f) (f, 69.82, 71.39, 68.24, 69.96, f).

HT: 1. Rowan Hamilton’ (Cal-Can) 246-2 (75.05); 2. Adam Keenan’ (Can) 242-4 (73.87); 3. *Jayden White (Wa) 220-2 (67.11); 4. Ivar Moisander’ (Cal-Swe) 219-9 (66.98); 5. Kegan Schroeter (unat) 218-1 (66.47).


DT: 1. *Caisa-Marie Lindfors’ (Cal-Swe) 200-5 (61.09).

HT: 1. Camryn Rogers’ (Can) 252-2 (76.87) (WL) (250-4, 248-7, 248-10, 250-11, 252-2, 249-7) (76.30, 75.76, 75.85, 76.49, 76.87, 76.08);

2. Anna Purchase’ (GB) 232-2 (70.76); 3. **Audrey Jacobs’ (Cal-Neth) 214-0 (65.22).