Eric Mathias adds 12 feet to his National Discus Record
BY DEAN GREENAWAY
Eric Mathias, the National Discus Record holder and 2002 Central American
and Caribbean Jr. Championships gold medallist went into his meet in
Tucson, Arizona on December 8, with few expectations. He walked away after
adding 12 feet to his June 30 mark at the OECS Relays, taking his best
from 159'8" (48.60 Meters) to 172'1" (52.57 Meters).
"Going into that event, I wasn't hoping to pull of anything big because
I've been working on my technique a lot and I was hoping to remember what
I did in practice and put it into place at the meet," explained Mathias, a
Central Arizona College sophomore. "I know better technique will actually
bring better speed. I've been doing a lot more running and lifting weights
more seriously. I've been more of a better athlete this year than I've
ever been and it's all starting to pay off now."
Mathias' latest personal best, ranks him 15th in the CAC region regardless
of age and would have placed him third at the Dec 1-6 CAC Games in El
Salvador. His 52.47 meter throw has him 30th in the world among juniors
and shoots up to 11th among those who will still be juniors (under 20) in 2003.
Mathias sees the new distance as a vehicle to put him in a better position
recruiting wise and give him more respect in the circle. His goal he said
is to throw the platter around 60 meters, or 200 feet. "I will be
satisfied with 185 to 190," he said modestly. "I think I can do so, as
long as I continue to be as persistent as I have been and just stay
focused. I'm much more dedicated to what I'm doing now. I've become a
better person, a leader for my team and just a better athlete. There's not
telling what the future holds right now."
Mathias says his coach has seen a difference in his maturity over the last
few months. "There's no telling what I'll do," Mathias said. "I'm just
trying to put the BVI on the map like Dion Crabbe," he laughs. "I've
stepped up from throwing 48.60 to 52.47. That's a big jump and it's not
even competitive season yet. I'm really looking forward to the 2003 season."
So far, the University of Arizona and Washington State University have
shown interest in his skills. His first meet of the 2003 season is on Feb
14 at Pima Community College in Arizona. "I'm going to try and keep on top
of my game, stay focused on what I set out to do, don't fall back and just
defend," Mathis stated.
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