Challenging Track’s Boundaries : Blutreich Sets State Meet Marks in Discus and Shot Put
The meet directors of the state high school track and field championships are resting easily today. Brian Blutreich is all out of chances at throwing the discus over the Hughes Stadium fence.
A large crowd gathered around the discus area at the finals Saturday in anticipation of what would happen had the Capistrano Valley High senior hit the fence on the fly, or, better yet, cleared the 12-foot tall hedges that border the fence.
How would the toss have been measured? What would have been entered in the CIF record books?
Blutreich never forced the meet directors’ hands, however. His best toss fell about 10 feet short of the fence. But each of his five attempts sent meet officials crawling into the hedges to retrieve his discus.
On a somewhat anticlimactic note, his mark of 203-feet, 4-inches was good for the state championship and the meet record.
“I just wanted to get my personal best,” Blutreich said. “But it didn’t happen. I threw it in practice, 209-feet.”
The UCLA bound Blutreich has a personal best of 210-8, which is the second best performance ever by a prep. The mark is not recognized as a state record, however, because the effort came at a dual meet. The official state record is 209-6 by David Porath of Atwater High.
Blutreich hasn’t always been the discus standout that he has become. In fact, in 1984, he was a 179-1 thrower, which is good enough to be a state contender, but is at a level well below the nation’s top prep throwers.
“Last year, I threw 179-feet and didn’t make it to the state meet,” Blutreich said. “That was pretty depressing.”
Even more depressing was what was to follow. Blutreich stretched ligaments in his wrist while training with the shot put and had to take four months off. It has been suggested that the injury helped his discus throwing because the event is less strenuous on his wrist.
“It might have helped my discus throwing,” he said. “Still, I think I would’ve done pretty well in the discus. That injury happens a lot. It happens to almost every serious thrower.”
And Blutreich showed signs of shrugging off the injury Saturday by winning the shot put in 68-4. Again, the mark was a state meet record.
“I’m really happy to get two meet records today,” he said. “I’m really happy considering the conditions. It got really cold. It takes its toll.”
Like the discus, the shot put record--not the first-place finish--was the only thing in question. Blutreich, last season’s state champion in the shot put, was almost 10-feet ahead of his closest competition as the event started Saturday.
“Winning here didn’t mean as much to me this year,” he said. “Winning the state meet last year was exciting. There was a lot of competition.”
And winning is something he has done with greater ease as his wrist continues to improve.
“I’m going all out again. I have enough confidence in my wrist again.”
Blutreich said the main cause for the injury was his use of a 16-pound shot.
“I’m not throwing the 16-pound shot anymore,” he said. “I used the 12-pound shot today.”
His troubles appear to be behind him. Only the white tape on his wrist, which Blutreich said was precautionary, serves as a reminder.
His marks Saturday are concrete indicators that it is time to look ahead rather than think back. Blutreich is doing just that.
Blutreich said he is really looking forward to continuing his career at UCLA. He said he is especially excited about throwing at the Junior World Games next year in Greece.
And in another stadium that dares to contain his throws, no doubt.