By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Findlay Jr. Eldred Henry systematically destroyed Pittsburg State Garrett Appier’s 2016 NCAA Division II Shot Put mark, adding the outdoor crown to his indoor title, on May 25.
Already with Appier’s 20.37m (66’10”) mark in hand after his 20.62m effort on his second attempt, Henry uncorked a mammoth 21.47m (70’5¼”) effort on this third try, to obliterate the mark he established in round two.
Henry’s throw was the best in all levels of NCAA Division and is No 13 on All Time Collegiate list. The mark is also a BVI National Record, improves his OECS Record and qualified him for the Sept 29-Oct 6 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar and is No 75 on the IAAF All Time Performance List.
“Before the meet, I had a pretty good last shot put practice, so I knew it was time to get a big one off,” said Henry who opened with 19.62m, an effort he wasn’t looking for, but traveling from cooler Ohio into the Texas heat, he felt drained. “It threw me off, but I had to dig deep to get that throw off. On the second attempt, I threw 20.62 and I dropped my elbow on it. When I saw the distance, I knew not hitting the shot like you’re supposed to because once you drop you elbow on it, that’s it, so I knew something big would come on the third round.”
He added: So, it was to stay calm and not rush the technique, let it come together and I got into the right technique. With positioning and timing it’s everything. Once I got that set up from the back and the middle out, I could put some raw power behind it and it just went.”
After the 21.47m throw, Henry said he considers himself a 20.70-20.80m thrower, and would like to be consistent in that range.
“Then, I can produce something bigger,” he said. “It’s like building blocks. You want to be consistent around a certain range before you get a big one off, then off and you make smart moves. I’ve been consistent around the 20.30s and now it went up.”
Joining Long Jumper Chantel Malone and 400m Hurdler Kyron McMaster in qualifying for the Sept 29-Oct 6, IAAF World Championships, Henry said getting the qualifier out the way was important because he was chasing the mark all season long.
“Now I can take a step back, prepare and focus on the actual meet, instead of just training to compete and get the mark,” he explained. “I can just fine tune, take my time and work into the actual meet, because it’s later down in the year. It will take some good strategy to make sure I’m ready for when Doha comes around.”
Meanwhile, Clemson Jr., Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner and Florida Jr, Kala Penn, will compete in individual events in the NCAA Division I Championships in Texas through June 8. Warner ran a 400m Hurdles personal best of 57.21 seconds and Penn Triple Jumped 13.05m as both advanced from the East Regional. Central Florida Freshman, Beyonce DeFreitas, will compete on her team’s 4x100m Relay, that ran 43.72 seconds in the East Regional. Meanwhile, several home based athletes will compete in the Puerto Rico National Championships this weekend.