BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In the wake of a successful freshman campaign as one of the NCAA's elite discus throwers, Tiger rookie Rodney Brown struck gold during Sunday's finale for the 2012 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships by shattering the meet record with his winning mark of 206 feet, 9 inches at Indiana's Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex.
Brown quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard with a best of 202-5 in the preliminary round while he established himself as the gold-medal favorite heading into the event final.
That's when he put the competition out of reach by unleashing a meet record on his first throw of the final as his discus landed 206-9 from the circle in the fourth round, smashing the previous USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships mark of 204-3 set in 2009 by Kansas standout Mason Finley.
Brown outdistanced the silver-medal winning throw of 201-2 by Texas A&M freshman Dalton Rowan for the No. 2-ranked performance in the 1.75 kg discus in the 2012 IAAF World Junior Rankings. That mark also ranks Brown in the No. 3 position on the all-time U.S. junior list in the event, trailing only the throws of 214-4 by Finley in 2009 and 207-5 by former Penn State star Brian Milne in 1992.
A product of Navasota High School in Navasota, Texas, Brown is slated to compete as a member of Team USA at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships to be held July 10-15 in Barcelona, Spain.
Brown recently wrapped up his first collegiate season with the Tigers in 2012 as a national qualifier in the discus throw with his appearance at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Jacksonville, Fla. He recorded a personal best of 190-8 while throwing the 2 kg discus at the collegiate level.
Two other Tigers also secured their spot on Team USA during Sunday's finale at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships as fellow freshman Aaron Ernest and Quincy Downing will join Brown for their trip to Barcelona in just over three weeks for the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Ernest claimed his second USA Junior silver medal of the weekend with a runner-up finish in the finals of the 200-meter dash on Sunday afternoon. After qualifying with the fastest run during Saturday's prelim at 20.96, Ernest sprinted to the finish line in 20.88 (+0.1) to claim the silver medal behind the winning effort of 20.57 by Tyreek Hill. Oregon's Arthur Delaney took home the bronze medal with a run of 21.03.
Ernest was also honored as the USA Junior silver medalist in the 100-meter dash on Friday evening, as he will line up in both events for Team USA at the IAAF World Junior Championships.
Downing earned his place in the 4x400-meter relay pool for Team USA following a fourth-place finish on Sunday while running 46.68 in the final of the 400-meter dash. Downing trailed gold medalist Aldrich Bailey (45.37), silver medalist Arman Hall (45.77) and bronze medalist Chidi Okezie (46.55).