In 1972 Aleksandr Baryshnikov set his first USSR record using a new[ish] [to him and his coach] putting style, the spin (“круговой мах” in Russian), invented [what?] by his coach Viktor Alexeyev, While the graceful Baryshnikov used an driry Russia day in 1976 to become the first to defeat the 22m (72′ 2¼”) line–the branches of his Throwgasm Tree did not ripen and propagate like the great Sequoia Throwgasm taking place on the Butterfield Stage Line Trail and spreading like a late summer SoCal wildfire. Smoke was in the air and fruits of Luat, Nelson, Camarena-Williams, Hoffa, Barnes, Gill, Whiting, McCall and Godina were beginning to ripen… all in their own time and place.
Brian Oldfield via Facebook
July 17 at 3:11pm · Elgin, IL ·
I started to add rotational throws to my work outs in the fall of 1973. I would always take several throws after working on my glide and before picking up a discus. This pattern of going from the smaller circle to a larger one was a flaw in my training. I went through my 7′ shot-circle practice onto the 8′ discus-circle training.
I went to El Paso to train with several friends and got stronger throwing 72′ [22m] with both techniques . I wanted to start competing in the discus because in the I.T.A. [International Track Association] we had four 200’+ [61m] discus throwers and another event meant more money.
I started using the 8′ circle for discus and took a long step to divide the 8′ circle , touched down with my heel, and something in my knee popped . I continued to throw until dark (it was winter) then went inside and played basketball. I had torn my cartilage two weeks before my first competition of 1974.
I was given a cast from my ankle to my hip and threw the rest of the season starting off with 66′ 1″ [20,15m] and ending up with 69′ 4″ [21,15m]. I had learned to sweep my leg to the middle of the circle–pirouetting on the toe of the right-foot to get to the left=foot impulse step. This method of throwing enabled me to maintain a horizontal drive but could get any lift to stay in the circle. I could throw 75′ [22,85m] off my toes but couldn’t stay in. The positive thing was that I had learned to throw left-right-left footwork. I went from winning 12 meets in a row to losing 12 meets in a row .
I had surgery in June and started throwing an eighteen pound shot from a folding chair with my repaired knee on the chair. I was still able to throw off the left into a hurricane fence that turned into an automatic shot return. I returned to The I.T.A. the next year after having stopped smoking and stronger in my shoulders and learned to throw from two bent legs putting the “J” back into my throwing. The “J” phase is getting down the front of the circle and lifting into the release.
I now had warm-ups over 80′ [24,40m] –it seem I was always chasing my warm-up throws . I overcame some of my problems with technique after living and training with [John] Powell and the gang in San Jose. I was now in training for the Super Stars and stepped up my speed ,weight lifting, and technique . It was 1976 and I was warming up over 84′ [25’50m] And fouling 79′ [24,15m] then it was over: except in my mind…
* metric conversions are approximate with an inch
* ‘круговой мах’ in modern Russian translates to “damn those stupid Americans, damn them all”