In what was the top outdoor shot put throw since 2010 and a new personal best, the performance of the weekend globally and of the young outdoor season was Joe Kovacs 22.35m (73'3")at the Rafer Johnson/JJK Invite at UCLA. Coach Venegas has Joe looking great to defend his outdoor championship and on the path to his first global medal. Not to be outdone Tia Brooks threw a seasonal best and her best opener ever throwing 18.49m, which is also a top five throw in the world.
Throwers Britney Henry 67.28m and Kristin Smith 65.44m went 1-2 as they opened up there season in Westwood. In the discus Whitney Ashley opened up at 61.57m and Liz Podominick threw 59.06 to finish 2-3, Ashley's mark is the 10th best mark in the world. Jared Schuurmans threw 60.90 to finish second and a few centimeters out of the win. Brandon Johnson ran a tempo workout as he ran 3:51 and 49 in the 1500m and 400m respectively.
Out in Phoenix, Arizona Andrew Evans threw for the first time post collegiately and finish second at the Mesa Invite throwing 60.57m to world championship finalist Vikas Gowda of India. Andrew and Jared's throws being the 24th and 25th best throws in the world. The next day Andrew threw 59.23m at the Sun Angel Invite which won him his first post collegiate meet.
Also in Tempe, AZ Michael Hartfield won his opening competition of 7.95m in the long jump to win the Sun Angel Invite. Doing a little side work defending US Outdoor champion long jumper Jeff Henderson sped to a 10.39 seconds in the 100m to finish 5th in a loaded field. It was Jeff's fastest 100m opener ever, so he is surely on his way to a big season sprinting and jumping.
Also in Tempe were two resident Paralympic athletes in the 100m wheelchair race as Eric Hightower sped to blazing 14.50 seconds for the win and Austin Pruitt sped 18.17 to finish 5th.
The Residence Program will be in action next Friday and Saturday at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, CA.