Throwers give historic show at Big Ten meet

by Susan Filkins

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — When senior thrower Jason Schlueter wrapped up his second consecutive discus title at the Big Ten championships in Champaign, Ill., Saturday, he had just one question for throws coach Lynne Anderson: “Where do you want to eat?”
Schlueter promised Anderson he would treat her to lunch at Sgt. Preston’s, where he works, if she helped him figure out his technique problem.
“Last weekend when he warmed up with these monster throws, I thought, ‘Yes, I’m going to get my lunch,'” Anderson said.
Whatever Anderson did to help Schlueter fix his problem, it worked. His championship throw of 198 feet, 3 inches established a new Big Ten record, a personal best mark and automatically qualified him for the NCAA championships in two weeks.
Not only did Schlueter defend his title, but his teammates followed in place behind him finishing in second, third and fourth respectively, completing the first ever discus sweep for Minnesota.
“It was probably the most awesome display of athleticism in the Big Ten in a long time,” Anderson said. “That’s tough work out there, and for them to hold it together like that is just awesome.”
Freshman Adam Reed followed Schlueter’s lead, finishing in second with a throw of 179-3. He said after Schlueter threw his monster throw, he gave Reed a word of advice.
“He told me to aim for him and try to beat him, and that would make me throw my best,” Reed said. “And it worked.”
Third place belonged to junior Chad Yenchesky, who threw a 176-11. Yenchesky also took second in the shot put the following day with a throw of 59-2 3/4.
“It seemed like the year was so-so, and then all of a sudden we all came together at the right time,” Yenchesky said. “It makes the year a heck of a lot more enjoyable.”
Rounding out the discus sweep was sophomore Jeff Marsh who threw a 175-10. Marsh said a great deal of credit should be given to Anderson.
“She knows her technique and she knows how to get her throwers ready for big meets,” Marsh said. “The way it looks, we’ve got four guys who can come up big in the big meets.”
After the sweep was complete, Anderson could only hug each member of her championship discus team and smile.
“It’s great to have four of the greatest throwers in the Big Ten, especially when a coach comes up to me and says ‘what does your fifth one throw?'” Anderson said with a laugh.
Anderson not only coaches championship men throwers but also championship women throwers.
Her biggest prodigy is senior thrower Dani Parkos, who finished her senior career by taking the shot put title with a throw of 51-10 1/2.
“I’ve felt good for the past two weeks, and I had so much confidence coming in,” Parkos said. “I just wanted to come in, throw for me and get a personal record. If I did that, I knew it would take care of itself, and it did.”
Sophomore Tina McDonald took fourth in the shot with a throw of 48-3 1/2 inches. She also finished fourth in the discus competition recording a throw of 152-8.
Anderson can also boast about her freshman javelin thrower Nicole Chimko, who took second in the javelin competition with a throw of 159-10.
“I was very proud of her for holding in there because her first two throws were awful. And to come back on her third one and throw a personal record shows a lot of maturity on her part,” Anderson said.
Chimko also finished fifth in the discus with a throw of 146-9 behind Parkos and McDonald.
Overall, the throws teams contributed greatly towards their team scores. Men’s head coach Phil Lundin was ecstatic about the success of the men discus throwers and Anderson.
“Lynne Anderson in my estimation is one of the top throw coaches in the world, there’s no doubt,” Lundin said. “She takes kids that are not the top kids in the U.S., and she develops them into national-caliber people. I have nothing but good things to say about Lynne and her efforts, and I’m very happy she’s part of our staff.”