Jamie Strowbridge is a student of throwing the discus. He attended a four-day field events camp conducted by University of Minnesota track coaches last summer and a one-day clinic put on by former Olympian and former Gopher Ron Backes this winter.
Strowbridge also does considerable research on the Internet, logging on to a site entitled www.throwfarther.com.
"I look at some of the Olympians and their throws," the Brainerd High School senior said. "They have short clips of them."
Jamie Strowbridge profile
Sport -- Track and field
Events -- Discus, shot put
Year -- Senior
Age -- 17
Height -- 6-foot-2
Weight -- 250 pounds
Other sports -- Football
Grade-point average -- 2.7
Memorable sports achievement -- Member of True Team section championship team last spring
School activities -- Choir
Favorite subject -- Physical education
Favorite food -- Everything
Favorite movie -- "Dumb and Dumber"
Hobbies -- Playing sports
Future plans -- Probably attend Bemidji State, hopes to play football, be in track
Parent -- Julie Strowbridge
Research has helped Strowbridge net first-place finishes in six of the seven outdoor meets in which he has competed this spring. His best throw this season is 144 feet 11, inches.
Last Saturday in terrible weather at the Hamline University Relays in St. Paul, he threw 140-11 to win a meet including traditional powers like Mounds View, Wayzata and Minnetonka.
"The wind wasn't ideal," Warriors field events coach Chet Stevenson said, "but Jamie stepped up and delivered a pretty good performance."
Strowbridge said a lineup of throwers was posted that listed every athlete's personal-best throw.
"There was a kid from Wayzata whose personal best was 156," Strowbridge said. "I don't know if he blew up or not, but he threw 120. I won by three feet or so. I was pretty consistent. I hit a couple 140s. I was hoping for farther, but it was rainy, the wind was completely backwards. It was not the best of conditions but I threw pretty decent."
Stevenson is hoping Strowbridge will pop off a long throw as the temperature rises. Strowbridge has a ways to go before surpassing the school record of 161-9 set by Marty Chisholm in 1989.
"What we're looking for is something over 150 now, that's the next barrier Jamie has to get beyond," Stevenson said. "If he gets into the 150-155 range he will get competitive for a possible move on to state. That's Jamie's ultimate goal.
"Right now, the competition is within himself. He's trying to better his throws. He's been in that 140-145 range every meet. Outside in practice he's getting more consistent long throws. It's a matter of time, if he gets the right wind and the right conditions, that he will hit a big throw."
As with virtually all of his throwers, Stevenson has forged a bond with Strowbridge. Stevenson is also the Warriors' offensive line coach and Strowbridge was a starting offensive tackle last fall.
"Offensive linemen and defensive lineman have been the kind of kids who are primarily my throwers," Stevenson said. "We create a relationship on the football field and carry it on to the spring. Most of (the linemen) in the winter are in the weight room with me, and many come and throw with me in the spring. It's a way of keeping them in the weight room. The side benefit is you get good throwers out of it.
"Jamie has created a love for throwing. He just loves throwing the discus. Bemidji State is looking at him as a football player. Jamie is looking at Bemidji State as a place to go throw. He wants to throw the discus."
Strowbridge has had Stevenson as a football coach for two years and as a field events coach for three.
"It's always good to know your coach, get along with him and understand him," he said. "I had Chet as a ninth-grade teacher, so I've known him quite a while. That's been pretty helpful."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Ben House, boys' golf, was medalist in the Brainerd Invitational at the Classic at Madden's and at the Little Falls Invitational.
Mike Zauhar, baseball, was 4-for-4 with three RBI against St. Cloud Tech.
Dan Kirkpatrick, baseball, hit two home runs at the Princeton Invitational.
Chad Anderson and Paul Tuchscherer, tennis, raised their records to 11-0 with wins against Alexandria.
(Athlete of the week is honored by the Brainerd Sports Boosters Club.)
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