Loaded prep, elite throws fields converge on Iron Wood: Preview and Entries

by Steve Underwood and Jim Spier

Sixteen of the nation's top prep shot put, discus and hammer throwers will have the unique opportunity Saturday to compete with/against many of the top U.S. pros and elites -- including past, present and aspiring 2016 Olympians -- at the NSAF's Iron Wood TC Throws Classic.

Formerly the Chicagoland Throws, the event -- now in its 4th year -- has moved across the country to beautiful Coeur d'alene and the famous Iron Wood Camp, where countless Olympians, other elites and youngsters alike have trained.

Here's a preview of each event ... and you can see the entry lists with PRs and other stats below.

Men’s Shot: Geist and Piperi clash for 1st time outdoors
  • How interesting that the first outdoor meeting this spring of the US#1 and #2 putters – and 1-2 finishers from NBNI – would meet in a competition mixed with elites/pros throwing the 16-lb. ball alongside them.  You could almost call it the warmup for the main event – NBNO – two weeks down the road.  But don’t think Jordan Geist (Knoch, PA junior) and Adrian “Tripp” Piperi (The Woodlands, TX junior) won’t be just as competitive Saturday as they will in Greensboro.  Since their meeting in The Armory, Geist has had a monster outdoor season: Unbeaten with a record Penn Relays win and a 74-3.5, #6 all-time.  Piperi, the World Youth champ in ’15, has been nearly as good with 7 meets over 70 and a best of 71-11 (#12 all-time).

    Also competing for Team NSAF is Isaiah Rogers (Campbell, GA sr/Throw 1 Deep), US#7 at 67-10 and a World Youth Finalist/CSI Cuba medalist/multi NBN All-American, and Turner Washington (Canyon del Oro, AZ jr) at 57-6.5 and Bailey King (Union, WA sr) at 57-0.
  • The Elites:  A great group of eight, including two of the current U.S. top 6: #4 Jordan Clarke of Nike (69-3.25) and #6 Darrell Hill (68-8.5).  Clarke, a 4-time NCAA champ while at Arizona State, hit 70-6.25 last year (#4 US) and made the U.S. team for IAAF Beijing Worlds last year.  Also in the field is Ryan Whiting, the 2014 IAAF World Indoor champ with a 73-1.25 PR and a 2012 London Olympian (9th).  He was our NSAF national indoor champ and outdoor runner-up as a Central Dauphin, PA senior in 2005.

Men’s Discus:  New nat’l leader Adams leads 200-footers
  • Until three weeks ago, Terrell Adams (Middle Creek, NC sr) was one of a few dozen-odd prep throwers who in the 190 range for the discus.  Then at his NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regional, he exploded with a PR 213-9 – the highlight of a series with four over 190 – and now leads the nation.  He may need to get over 200 again to compete with above-mentioned teammates US#4 Piperi and US#7 Washington, at 204-3 and 202-0 respectively, who have been more consistent to date in the 190-200 range.

    Geist, with a 193-6 best, will also compete here, as will hammer thrower Matt Slagus (North Pocono, PA sr) at 187-4, King (181-0) and Rogers (162-4).
  • The Elites:  Outside of US leader and NCAA favorite Sam Mattis, 8 of the top 8 current U.S. throwers are here; nearly all have thrown 210 feet or better at some point in their careers.  2012 Olympians Lance Brooks and Jason Young are here, as are 2015 USATF 1-2-4 finishers Jared Schuurmans, Andrew Evans and Rodney Brown – who is currently US#2 at 216-6 to lead entries.  There’s also Mason Finley, who was 3rd at USATFs in ’14 and 6th last year.  He set the prep nat’l record as a Buena Vista, CO senior in 2009 (since beaten) and swept the shot and discus at our 2009 outdoor nationals (also won discus in ’08).

Men’s Hammer: Local standout Unland leads prep field
  • The leading prep in our Team NSAF group comes from literally right across the border (Spokane, WA), in the person of Ferris HS senior Kirk Unland – the Washington state champ who stands at US#6 215-10 and is a strong all-around thrower with solid PRs in the shot (58-2), discus (167-7) and jav (163-6).  Rogers will also throw here (US#9 205-6), as will Tim Beard (Kamiak, WA sr) at 202-0 and Slagus, of course, who’s at 199-9 and looking for his first 200-footer this weekend. 
  • Elites:  The field of six includes the current 4-5-6-7 on the U.S. list in Michael Lihrman, A.G. Kruger, Conor McCullough and Colin Dunbar.  Kruger is a 3-time Olympian hoping to make his 4th team in 2016, while McCullough is the former prep record-holder while at Chaminade, CA – 260-0 in 2009 – and still #2 on the all-time list.  He set prep hammer records for the Youth, Junior and Senior implements, as well.  McCullough also won our national indoor weight throw with a national record in 2009, and captured silver and gold in back-to-back World Junior meets in 2008 and 2010. 

Women’s Shot:  Familiar faces aiming at 50 or better
  • All four Team NSAF putters will be looking for marks over 50 feet, with three of them being pretty familiar faces in our meets.  US#4 KD Young (Warrensburg-Latham, IL jr), US#8 Khayla Dawson (Olympic, NC sr) and US#10 Kiana Phelps (Kingsley-Pierson, IA sr) all competed in Chicagoland Throws last year, all have competed with us in Cuba at CSI and all are multi-time NBN All-Americans.  Young, with a 51-11.5 PR, has started to become consistent over 50 feet, but Dawson (49-0 PR) and Phelps (48-10) are looking to get there for the first time.  The newcomer is Maddie Rabing (Lakeridge, OR sr), the top thrower in the Northwest.  She fits in well with this group at US#7 49-0.5 and would love to get her first meet over 50, too.
  • Elites:  The field of four includes current US#5 Dani Bunch, CSI alum Jill Rushin and former NSAF champ Becky O’Brien.  Bunch, a Purdue grad now with Nike, has thrown 61-11.  Rushin won the CSI shot while a Jackson, MO jr in 2009, then was 2nd at our outdoor nationals.  O’Brien was our national runner-up outdoors in ’07 and indoors in ’08, then won outdoors in ’08 with a 52-1.75.  After her collegiate career, and some time away from the sport, she came back in ’15 and was 2nd at USATF indoors with 60-2.

Women’s Discus: NSAF veteran Phelps looking or 180
  • The aforementioned Phelps is a two-time Chicagoland Throws champ (among the preps), so will be looking to make it three here.  It’s her 6th NSAF event and she’s hoping to break through to the top of the podium at NBNO in two weeks after a 3rd and a 2nd her first two years in Greensboro.  An outstanding newcomer is Makayla Kelby, a Lee’s Summit West, MO senior who broke through to US#8 163-6 in her Class 5 sectional meet, then won her 2nd straight state title there.  She was also the Class 5 shot champ.  Also throwing will be Young (155-4 PR), Dawson (146-5) and Rabing (144-0).
  • Elites:  You couldn’t ask for much better, with three of the nation’s top five present – including 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Stephanie Brown Trafton – who also joined us last year and gave an inspiring talk at our dinner.  She is hoping to make the U.S. team again this summer.  There’s also current U.S. leader Whitley Ashley and US#5 Liz Podominick.  Ashley has thrown a PR 212-0 this season, won the NCAAs back in’12 and was 9th in at the IAAF Worlds last year.  Podominick won an outdoor national shot title with us back in 2001.

Women’s Hammer:  Brinson on the cusp of 190
  • Will Iron Wood be the meet where Kamryn Brinson surpasses the 190 barrier?  The Throw 1 Deep star (Marist, GA sr), who joined us in Cuba for CSI last year, has had many meets in the 180s this year – leading the country most of the season and still US#2 with her 187-0.  She also won the NBNI weight throw title in March.  The aforementioned Rabing is one of the best combo throwers in the country and is at US#4 with the hammer at 182-6.  Both Brinson and Rabing have won state titles recently.
  • Elites:  The field of four women is led by Britney Henry of Oiselle, currently ranked #10 in the U.S. at 222-4 and with a PR of 233-10.  Arizona alum Taylor Bush, at 212-9 in ’16 and with a PR of 223-2, is also competing.


    MEN     1-Jun-16    
    Shot Put         2016 Best
Jordan Clarke Nike Arizona State Bartlett, Anchorage, AK (08) 70-06.25 4 time NCAA Champ 2015 USA - 3rd 69-03.25
Darrell Hill   Penn State Penn Wood, Lansdowne, PA (2011) 68-05.25 2015 NCAA - 2nd 3-time Big 10 champ 68-08.5
John Jones   Buffalo Portville, NY (2010) 68-07.25 2015 NCAA - 1st 2015 NACAC Champ 68-03.25
Bobby Grace Shore AC Youngstown State Midpark, Middleburg Hts, OH (2009) 67-03.5 2015 USA indoor - 2nd 4-time Horizon conf Champ 66-02.5
Ryan Whiting Nike Arizona State Central Dauphin, Harrisburg, PA (05) 73-01.25 2014 World Champ 2012 Olympics - 9th 65-11.75
Darien Moore Iron Wood TC Concordia Bakersfield, CA (2009) 63-04.25 2015 USA Indoor - 4th 2014 NAIA Indoor champ 64-05.75
David Pless Iron Wood TC Bates Asheville, NC (2009) 65-00.25 2015 USA Indoor - 5th 2-time NCAA 3 champ 63-10.25
Richard Garrett   Texas-San Antonio Nauman-Forest, TX (2009) 66-09.25 2014 NCAA - 4th 4 time conference champ 63-06.75
    High School          
Jordan Geist     Knoch, Saxonburg, PA 74-03.5 US HS leader    
Adrian Piperi     The Woodlands, TX 71-11 US HS #2    
Isaiah Rogers     Campbell, Smyrna, GA 67-10 US HS #7    
(Turner Washington)     Canyon del Oro, Oro Valley, AZ 57-06.75      
Bailey King     Union, Olympia, WA 57-00      
Rodney Brown   LSU Navasota ,TX (2011) 213-05 2015 USA - 4th 2014 NACAC Champ 216-06
Jason Young Nike Texas Tech Samuell, Dallas, TX (1999) 229-04 2012 OT - 3rd 2 time USA runnerup 215-05
Andrew Evans   Kentucky Northern, Portage, MI (2009) 217-09 2010 US Jr Champ 2015 USA - 3rd 214-07
Mason Finley   Wyoming Buena Vista, CO (2009) 212-07 2009 Pan Am Jr Champ 2014 USA - 3rd 214-02
Tavis Bailey   Tennessee AL Brown, Kannaspolis, NC (10) 204-01 2015 NCAA - 2nd   213-01
Nate Moses   Concordia Bullard, Fresno, CA (2008) 208-08 2014 NAIA Champ   210-10
Jared Schurrmans   Doane Norfolk, NE (2006) 216-10 2015 USA Champ 2010 NAIA Champ 209-08
Mike Torie   Lindenwood Lakewood, Arlington, WA (04) 207-01 2013 USA - 8th   203-02
Lance Brooks Nike Millikan New Berlin, IL (2002) 213-09 2012 OT Champ 2014 USA Champ 202-09
Justin Ramirez   Concordia-Portland San Luis Obispo, CA 188-09 2014 CC AA    
    High School          
Terrell Adams     Middle Creek, Apex, NC 213-09 US Leader    
(Adrian Piperi)     The Woodlands, TX 204-03      
Turner Washington     Canyon del Oro, Oro Valley, AZ 202-00      
(Jordan Geist)     Knoch, Saxonburg, PA 193-06      
(Matt Slagus)     North Pocono, Moscow, PA 187-04      
Bailey King     Union, Olympia, WA 181-00      
(Isaiah Rogers)     Campbell, Smyrna, GA 162-04      
Mike Lihrman   Wisconsin Rice Lake, WI (2010) 247-00 2 time NCAA indoor WT Ch   241-09
AG Kruger Nike Morningside Sheldon, IA (1997) 260-00 4 time USA Champ 3 time Olympian 241-03
Connor Mc Cullough   USC Chaminade, West Hills, CA (09) 253-03 2015 NCAA Champ   240-00
Colin Dunbar   Cal State-Long Beach Santa Barbara, CA (2006) 241-04 2015 NACAC runnerup   238-02
Ryan Loughney   Ashland Tri-Valley, Grahamsville, NY (2007) 232-01 3 time NCAA II champ   228-05
Will Lohman   Nebraska Jenkins, Chewalah, WA (2010) 216-02     220-06
    High School          
Kirk Unland     Ferris, Spokane, WA 215-10 US #5    
(Isaiah Rogers)     Campbell, Smyrna, GA 205-06 US #9    
Tim Beard     Kamiak, Multikeo, WA 202-00 US #11    
Matt Slagus     North Pocono, Moscow, PA 199-01 US #14    



    Shot Put         2016 Best
Dani Bunch   Purdue Mahomet-Seymour, Mah, IL (09) 61-11.75 2 time Big 10 Champ   61-11
Jillian Rushin   Missouri Jackson, MO (2010) 58-00.25 2015 SEC champ   57-10.25
Becky O'Brien   Buffalo Greely, Cumberland, ME (2008) 60-02i 2015 NCAA - 2nd   57-03.75
McKenzie Warren   Concordia Sandy, OR (2012) 55-03.5i 2015 NAIA DT champ   55-03.5
    High School          
Kathleen Young     Warrensburg W-Latham, W'burg, IL 51-11.5      
(Maddie Rabing)     Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, OR 49-00.75      
(Kiana Phelps)     Kingsley-Pierson, Kingsley, IA 48-10      
Khaya Dawson     Olympic, Charlotte, NC 49-0      
Whitney Ashley Nike San Diego State North, Riverside, CA (2007) 212-07 2012 NCAA Champ 2015 WC - 9th 212-00 USL
Stephanie Trafton Nike Cal Poly/SLO Arroyo Grande, CA (1998) 222-03 2 time USA Champ 2008 Olympic Champion 200-10
Liz Podomonick Nat Ath Inst Minnesota Lakeville, MN (2003) 209-06 2014 USA runnerup   202-04
Summer Pierson   Stanford Niskayuna, NY (2006) 200-10 2015 NACAC Champ   191-08
    High School          
Kiana Phelps     Kingsley-Pierson, Kingsley, IA 173-10      
Makayla Kelby     Lees Summit West, Lees Summit, MO 155-04      
(Kathleen Young)     Warrensburg W-Latham, W'burg, IL 152-04      
(Khayla Dawson)     Olympic, Charlotte, NC 146-05      
(Maddie Rabing)     Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, OR 144-00      
Britney Henry Oiselle Oregon Lewis+Clark, Spokane, WA (2001) 233-10 2007 Pac 10 Champ   222-04
Taylor Bush   Arizona Archbshp Mitty, Santa Clara, CA (08) 223-02     212-09
Caressa Sims   Portland State Jefferson, Portland, OR (2004) 218-11     212-02
Katie Wardsworth   Washington State Central Valley, Spokane, WA (2013) 176-01      
    High School          
Kamryn Brinson     Marist, Atlanta, GA 187-00 US #2    
Maddi Rabing     Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, OR 182-06 US #4    


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