It’s been a long time since an Ivy League thrower claimed the discus crown at the NCAA championship meet – 66 years to be exact.
On Friday, Penn’s Sam Mattis ended that drought, winning the men’s discus event at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field with a throw of 62.48 meters (205 feet, 0 inches). Yale’s Victor Frank won the discus in 1949 with a best throw of 168-91/2.
In his first five attempts in the circle, Mattis was maddeningly consistent, throwing for 61 meters each time. Then, on his final throw, something clicked.
“You could see it as soon as it left his hands,”
Penn throwing coach Tony Tenisci said:
“There was so much energy in the discus, and the spin was so strong that everyone knew that that was it, even before it landed because of the velocity of the release.”
Mattis was the only athlete in the 24-man final to surpass 62 meters, placing him 22 inches ahead of runner-up Tavis Bailey of Tennessee.
With Friday’s win, Mattis set a school record and captured Penn’s first individual title since 2003.