Barnes Gives It His Best Shot and Wins : Track and Field: Shotputter misses world record, but toss of 73-1 1/4 is third best outdoor mark of his career.
While working out three days ago at Fallbrook High, shotputter Randy Barnes said he had a throw of 75 feet 9 inches.
That unofficial practice throw is one inch better than the listed world record held by East Germany’s Ulf Timmermann.
With that background, Barnes said he was anticipating a “big one” in Sunday’s Evelyn Ashford Invitational of the Mazda Mt. San Antonio Relays in Walnut.
The “big one” eluded him, but he still managed a winning effort of 73-1 1/4, the third best competitive outdoor mark of his career.
Barnes was the silver medalist at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul in a stirring competition with Timmermann. Barnes had the gold medal momentarily on his last throw, a distance of 73-5 1/2, only to have Timmermann beat him on his final effort at 73-8 3/4.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Barnes said, referring to the world record. Barnes, 23, opened with a throw of 69-4 Sunday and he improved to 73-1 1/4 in his second time in the ring. However, he then had to settle for two foul throws in the 73-foot range and a legal 68-9 3/4 mark.
“I’m really feeling good,” Barnes said. “I was hoping for something better--at least an American record.”
Barnes is the listed American record-holder at 73-5 1/2. However, John Brenner, the former UCLA star, has a pending mark of 73-10 3/4 established at the Mt. SAC Relays in 1987.
Delay in paper work has prevented Brenner’s mark from being accepted, but it’s only a technicality that is expected to be remedied soon.
Brenner is retired after seriously damaging his knee in a workout in 1988.
“You want as many people as you can out there,” Barnes said. “I miss him. I wish he was back in it.”
Barnes, who is 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, is the only American capable of challenging Timmermann.
Barnes is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m really excited about the Goodwill Games,” Barnes said of the meet July 20 in Seattle where he will compete against Timmermann. “It’s a small-scale Olympics.”
There is also a possibility that he’ll compete against Timmermann in the Jack in the Box Invitational May 20 at Drake Stadium.
For sure, Timmermann has been influenced by Barnes.
On a recent visit to Germany, a Times reporter said that Timmermann has a peculiar Texas-German accent.
“Randy Barnes,” he said by way of explanation.
Barnes beat Timmermann in a meet in Japan in September. Until then, he hadn’t conversed with him.
“I didn’t know that he could speak English until I heard him in an interview in Japan, and I was kind of standoffish,” Barnes said. “He speaks very good English.”
With that barrier down, the weightmen have become friendly.
Barnes is aware that record performances are spurred by competition. So, in that manner, he and Timmermann are linked.
“We need each other,” Barnes said.
Barnes, who formerly competed for Texas A&M;, established his credentials at Mt. San Antonio in 1986 as a promising teen-ager when he extended Brenner, a more experienced athlete, before losing.
However, it was in that competition that he tore the tendon sheath on his right middle-finger and had to sit out more than a year.
It got so bad that he developed a bleeding ulcer from daily doses of anti-inflammatory medicines and aspirin.
Barnes said his hand is healed and the world record occupies his thoughts. So much so that his car license plate reads “80 Feet.”
As for Sunday’s competition, Barnes said: “I had a pretty nice opener (69-4) and then 73. I realized I was ready. Then, I started pushing it a little more each time. I was rushing my arm, causing me to foul. I couldn’t get all the way through the ball.”
Barnes said that he watched part of the NFL draft on television in the morning, then turned his set off while speculating about how much money the college players would soon be earning.
“I didn’t want to think about that,” he said. “I wanted to think about a world record.”
Randy Barnes was a house guest of Brent Noon’s parents in Fallbrook the past week. . . . Noon, of Fallbrook High, is the leading prep shot-putter in the nation. He’s the state champion and is being heavily recruited. Barnes said of Noon, “He’s a fantastic athlete,” adding that he’s not recruiting Noon for Texas A&M.; “I’ll leave that to the coaches,” he said.
Other highlights: Kevin Young, representing the Santa Monica Track Club, won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 48.91. The former UCLA star was ranked No. 1 in the world in that event in 1989. . . . The SMTC team won the 400-meter relay in 38.86 seconds. Danny Everett, another former UCLA star, beat his former Bruin teammate, Mike Marsh, in the 200 with respective times of 20.13 and 20.44.
Victoria Fulcher of the Nike TC won the women’s 400 IH in 57.20. UCLA’s Janeene Vickers, the defending NCAA champion, didn’t finish the race. . . . In the most competitive race of the day, Everett ran a blazing 44.1 seconds anchor leg to lead SMTC to a narrow victory in the 1,600-meter relay in the time of 3:01.62.
Doug Fraley won the pole vault at 18-4 1/2. . . . Estonia’s Juri Tamm won the hammer throw as expected at 254-3. He was the bronze medalist in the 1980 and 1988 Olympics. . . . UCLA’s Mark Dani qualified for the NCAA meet with a time of 13:52.4 in the 5,000 meters Saturday night. He finished 13th.