2013 Track & Field Season Preview: Throws
- Part 1: Men's Sprints, Relays
- Part 2: Men's Hurdles
- Part 3: Men's Distance, Middle Distance
- Part 4: Jumps, Pole Vault
The Tigers featured a balanced attack while finishing just two points shy of a national championship at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships as they scored 48 points for a runner-up finish in the team race in an exciting conclusion to the college season a year ago. Leading the way were 12 All-Americans scoring in events ranging from the sprints, hurdles and relays, to the jumps and throws as the Tigers again proved themselves among the best teams in all of collegiate track and field.
They will look to follow that formula for success in 2013 as they again feature one of the more balanced rosters in the country featuring All-America candidates across each of the event areas. With three-time NCAA long jump silver medalist Damar Forbes leading the way and emerging sprint star Aaron Ernest contending for NCAA titles on the track, the team boasts a host of returning firepower and an infusion of talent with one of the nation's top recruiting classes that is sure to lead LSU the pinnacle of collegiate track and field again this spring.
Fifth in a 10-part series previews a the men's throwers competing during the 2013 season.
While giving Tiger fans a glimpse of their potential as freshmen a season ago, Rodney Brown and Jeremy Tuttle are poised for breakout sophomore seasons as they look to lead the new era of throwing at LSU as two of the NCAA's bright young stars.
Brown proved himself as one of the nation's elite discus throwers with his performance a year ago when he opened the outdoor campaign by setting a personal record of 190 feet, 8 inches in the event in a runner-up finish at the Louisiana Classics. That ranked No. 4 among freshmen and No. 13 among all classifications in the NCAA rankings for the 2012 season.
After competing at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds to finish the collegiate season, Brown kicked off his summer schedule with a record-setting performance at the 2012 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships as he was crowned the U.S. Junior champion in the discus throw at the event held in Bloomington, Ind. That's where he threw the 1.75 kg. junior implement a record distance of 206-9, shattering the previous USA Junior Championships meet record of 204-3 set by four-time NCAA silver medalist Mason Finley back in 2009.
With his performance, Brown earned the right to represent the United States at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain, and ended the 2012 season as the No. 2-ranked junior discus thrower worldwide.
The Chappell Hill, Texas, native is also looking to develop in the shot put after wrapping up his rookie campaign with a lifetime PR of 56-3 while throwing the senior shot for the first time in his career. He was the seventh-place finisher in the shot put final at the SEC Championships in both the indoor and outdoor seasons as a freshman.
While Brown earned a reputation as one of the NCAA's emerging stars in the discus with his performance as a freshman, Tuttle emerged as an All-America contender in the javelin as an NCAA Championships semifinalist in the event. After smashing his personal best with a throw of 227-6 in a fifth-place finish at the SEC Championships, Tuttle followed with a best mark of 218-7 at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds to advance to the national semifinals in his NCAA Championships debut.
A native of Sierra Vista, Ariz., Tuttle was one of the top scoring Tigers at the SEC Outdoor Championships as he also captured a fourth-place finish in the hammer throw in his first career appearance at the SEC Outdoor meet. He finished the season with a hammer throw personal best of 188-9.
Joining Tuttle in the javelin competition will be 2012 NCAA Championships qualifier Phillip LeBlanc, who set a personal record of 208-1 en route to a berth in the event at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds for the first time in his collegiate career.
Also providing the Tigers with depth at the SEC and NCAA Championships this spring is senior Daniel Obioha. A former SEC scorer and NCAA qualifier in the discus, Obioha was limited in his performance with a back injury a year ago. He's back to full strength and looking to improve upon his discus PR of 167-9 this spring.
The Tigers also welcome perhaps the most versatile throws prospect in the state of Louisiana as part of their recruiting Class of 2012 as true freshman Terry Hughes joins the squad following a prolific prep career. A product of Dutchtown High School in Prairieville, Hughes was crowned the Louisiana Class 5A state champion in the discus and the state silver medalist in both the shot put and javelin while scoring a total of 26 points to lead the Griffins to the team title at the Louisiana High School Athletics Association Class 5A State Championships a year ago.
Hughes set prep personal bests of 54-0 ½ in the shot put, 161-7 in the discus and 182-8 in the javelin during a prolific career at Dutchtown High School.
Check back Monday as Part 6 of LSU Track & Field's 2013 season preview will feature the women's sprints and relays.