Feb. 21, 2018
Senior Josh Awotunde's name is all over the South Carolina record books in throwing events. The two-time first-team All-American in the shot put recently set a new indoor school record in the event at the Tiger Paw Invitational at Clemson with a throw of 66 feet, 10 ½ inches (20.38 meters), and now he has his sights set on bigger goals.
"My goal for this year is to do my best to win a national title. I want to do my best to win an SEC title as well.
"My record-breaking throw was my last throw of the day. In practice we always say, `last throw, best throw.' That's just become a habit for me.
"The throw before that was 19.70 (meters). I was telling my teammate, Eric Favors, how that throw came off so early and that there's so much more there. For my last throw, I told him I might need the `slow clap.' He started up the clap for me on the last throw, and I felt it.
"As soon as I got in the ring, I knew it was going to be a big one. I knew it was going to be a PR before I even let it go. When it left my hands, I definitely knew it was a good throw. All of my throws leading up to that all felt like I was all upper body, and I wasn't throwing from my legs. I wasn't getting all my power into it. I turned that switch on, and then I had a 20.38.
"Getting on top of Brad Snyder (1996-99) in our record books is a great honor because he was a great athlete.
To win a national title would be the greatest feeling in the world.
"Throwing 20 meters is hard to put in comparison to other sports. It's big, though. 20.5 [meters] is the Olympic standard. So, I was just under that, but I know I'm capable of doing it.
"My goal for this year is 70 feet (21.34m). I just have to hone in on my technique and increase my speed.
"To win a national title would be the greatest feeling in the world. That's just a lifelong accomplishment that I feel like I've been on the cusp of doing for a long time. I just need to put it together and do it at the right time.
"Everything seems to be coming together right now. I know as we get to the championship season, I'm going to have to take it up another notch. My goal is to be the best in the country.
"My coaches have all the faith in the world in me. They believe in me. They know what I am capable of, and sometimes they know more than I do about what I'm capable of. Sometimes, if I doubt myself, they really do a good job of motivating me and keeping me on task.
"I'm very confident in my ability to win a championship. I've been throwing for a long time. I know when it comes to competition and it's time to get things done, that's when I perform at my best."
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