UW throwers could surprise during outdoor season

The throwers at Washington just might be the best-kept secret around. Even the most casual followers of collegiate track and field know how loaded the distance teams are for the Huskies, but the big boys on the throwers team might be just as good. Led by senior All-American Zack Midles, the men’s throwers pack a powerful punch.

“It’s taken us a few years to build up to be a great team.” Midles said. “We have four returning All-Americans, the most of any group on the team, I think. There are about 15 of us that are always training together.”

That cohesiveness and team intimacy is one of the main reasons the throwers have such potential for success.

“We all try and push each other,” Midles explained. “From day one, the coaches teach us team unity, and we really have that. The most important thing is winning.”

The throwers are coached by Reedus Thurmond, and while he’ll acknowledge that his young protégés show great promise, he is quick to point out they haven’t done anything yet this year.

“I can’t say we’ve done anything until the season starts,” Thurmond said. “Until they all start performing. They definitely have the potential to be really, really good.

“We’re really deep in just about every event, and we should compete to win in every event in the Pac-10 level, and we have some kids that should be competing to win at the national level.”

Thurmond has reason to be excited. Very few of his throwers participated in indoor track and have been shelved for almost a year, some even longer because of injuries. The product he puts out on the field this season will feel almost new. As a matter of fact, the athlete Thurmond is most excited to watch is completely new to collegiate track.

“I’m excited to see them all, but probably the most is Joe Zimmerman, my freshman javelin thrower,” Thurmond said. “He looks like he’s ready to hang with a lot of the top javelin throwers in the country. Obviously, it’s early. He hasn’t competed yet, and training is different than competing. But judging by his training, he’s ready to be thrown right into the mix.”

Although he has a lot of young talent, Thurmond acknowledges that it’s his veterans who are the heart and soul of this team.

“It’s going to be hard to lose Zack [after this year],” Thurmond said. “He and Peter Follmer are great leaders. Zack is such a big part of what motivates this group to be great.”

Thurmond also hopes that junior Cameron Elisara will come throw for him once he’s done with spring football. Elisara competed in 2008 and placed 12th in the shot put at the Pac-10 Championships.

Reach reporter Jacob Thorpe at sports@dailyuw.com.

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