Luis and I left first thing Friday morning. We left at 5am to be exact. A lake effect snow advisory was sitting right over Erie, PA. Leaving that early in the morning, especially the day of the meet, would give us some time to get down to Ohio with plenty of time to prepare. With good conditions and no snow, the ride from Rochester to Columbus would take about 6.5 hours. In our case, it took just over 7 hours. We didn't lose that much time. Driving through Erie, PA did make me a little nervous. How could I be nervous when the first stop we were going to make was at Rogue Headquarters.
Rogue Headquarters in Columbus, OH is everything you would expect it to be, and then some. Tucked away in a small industrial park, you wouldn't even realize it was there. The people working inside were helpful, engaging, and well informed about the history of Rogue.
Our next stop was checking into the hotel to relax for a few hours, get some lunch, and then head to French Field House.
French Field House is located on Woody Hayes Drive, directly across the street from the football stadium.
Walking around inside French Field House was pretty amazing. Everyone working inside the facility was welcoming and helpful. The field house has two seperate throwing areas. The shot-put competition took place in the infield of the track. The weight competition took place just off the back stretch of the facility.
From what the throwers were saying, it seems the circle was faster than it looked. A simple wooden circle with a metal ring that would produce the leading Division II men's weight throw.
Luis had two warm-up throws before the competition began. His first warm-up throw, pictured directly below, was an interesting one. He very rarely, if ever, releases the weight early. On this particular occasion, the weight slipped out of his hand.
Luis' second warm-up throw went much better. Not as crisp as we have been experiencing in practice, but just another warm-up throw. We knew a big throw was inside of him today.
Above you will find Luis' competition throws. Round 1 was a foul down the left sector line. Luis experienced a similar problem at the USATF Niagara Championship meet the week before. Luis was letting the weight get past his belly button after his right foot came down on his release, which meant that he was going to pull the weight outside the left sector. In practice we work on accelerating through the finish once his right foot comes down on his third turn. This explosion into the sector would typically produce a throw just right of center in the sector.
If you notice in the proceeding throws in the video, Luis slightly rotates his feet in the circle. This little rotation would offset the possibility of Luis pulling the weight outside the left sector. Round 5 would be his best throw of the competition, finishing 5th out of 9 with a throw of 19.76m, a new seasonal best.
So far this season, Luis has more 19.00m+ throws than he had all of last season. His throwing distance average is much higher this season than last, however Luis has yet to achieve the USATF Indoor National automatic qualifying throw of 20.00m+. He is slowing inching his way to that throw.
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Charles Infurna, Ed.D., is the owner and lead coach of Forza Athletics Track Club. Dr. Infurna has coached National Record Holders, National Champions, All-Americans, and Conference Champions at the Post-Collegiate, Collegiate, and High School level.