The Men’s Discus
by Elias Esquivel
SOJC Track Bureau
It was a bit of an underwhelming men’s discus final at the USATF Outdoor Championships on Thursday afternoon. Of the 17 men in the field, only two recorded a personal best. This allowed for Andrew Evans, who said he hadn’t thrown consistently in three years, to walk out of Hayward Field with a U.S. title.
“My expectations were just to make it to this meet,” said Evans. “Not to have a chance to medal or anything like that… the stars aligned, I guess.”
Evans became the U.S. champion on his second throw, a heave of 207 feet, 8 inches (63.31 meters), securing his spot in the World Athletics Championships and a return to Hayward Field. Dallin Shurts of Brigham Young University was the surprise of the day, finishing with silver after throwing 204-5. Sam Mattis finished third, throwing 204-2.
Mattis, the only American in the final at the Tokyo Olympics, entered as the favorite but threw over 20 feet short of his personal best.
“This was, I think, my worst big meet of the year by a good bit,” said Mattis. “It was just one of those days where you don’t really feel your legs. Don’t really feel connected to the disc or your technique.”
The entire field produced underwhelming marks, including Evans. His winning throw was over 11 feet short of his personal best. Evans said he felt that some of his practice throws had been farther, and he was originally dissatisfied with the mark. The entire field’s performance was a surprise to Evans.
“It’s the rest of the guys that had to figure out what was going on with them,” said Evans. “I didn’t necessarily think 63 (meters) was going to win at that point.”
Mattis and Brian Williams, who finished fourth, will join Evans on the U.S. team. Shurts has not met the world standard, but Williams achieved the standard in May.
Evans, who lives in Michigan, says that his health will remain his main priority until July’s championships. Aside from that, he plans to keep his preparation simple.
“I’ll go back home and just hang out by the pool — business as usual,” said Evans.