April 30, 2013
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It isn’t the first Drake Relays flag for Majesty Tutson, but the one the University of Iowa senior won April 26 is her favorite.
Tutson captured a title in the university/college women’s discus throw with a school-record toss of 181-feet-1. She reset her record of 177-10 posted 20 days earlier at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz.
“I felt it was going to be a special day,” Tutson said. “I’m glad it turned out that way. I got a good night’s sleep and had a good breakfast. I felt confident, and my body felt good.”
As it turned out, Tutson was the lone Hawkeye to bring a relays flag back to Iowa City. White flags with the words Drake Relays Champion written in blue are handed to all event winners. The first time Tutson received a flag was in 2009 when she won the high school girls’ discus with a throw of 138-9 while competing for Iowa City High School. Also in the field were current teammates Courtney Fritz of Iowa City West (third, 135-9) and Rachel Curry of Williamsburg (sixth, 133-8).
“It feels better to know I can make it in the collegiate, D-I world,” Tutson said. “High school is big, but once you get to college and see how many more people there are to compete against, it makes it special to know you can compete with the best and hold your own.”
“This is setting her up for success at major events; she will be one of the top throwers at the Big Ten Championships. I think she can compete for an NCAA title if she continues to improve the way she has and hits the good throws when they count. On any day she can win a Big Ten title and a national title.”
UI throws coach
Tutson outdueled another former West High rival for her second Drake flag — Taylor Freeman, a senior at the University of Arizona — who threw 175 feet. It is the first time Tutson has gotten the upper hand against Freeman, who holds the Iowa high school record in the discus at 166-10.
“If you would have told me a couple years ago that I would compete against Taylor Freeman and be on her level and win, that would have shocked me,” Tutson said. “It was a good feeling to go out and compete against her.”
Tutson was solid on her first two throws Friday and then fouled the next four. While it may seem inconsistent, UI throws coach Scott Cappos says he wants his athletes to bat .333 in the ring.
“That’s part of the development process of athletes in the long term,” Cappos said. “Majesty went from being in the 130s in high school to throwing 180. That’s a long process, and while you’re doing that there will be some ups and downs. We’re trying to be like a baseball player. If they hit .333, they’re a pretty good player. In track and field, we’re trying to get one good throw out of three. If that gets you to the finals, you try to get another good throw out of those three.”
Tutson is peaking at the right time. The three biggest meets of the season are on deck: Big Ten Championships (May 10-12 in Columbus, Ohio), NCAA West Preliminary Rounds (May 23-25 in Austin, Texas), and NCAA Championships (June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.).
“Hopefully I can go to Big Tens and do something special,” Tutson said. “My goal is 185 (feet), so I’m hoping to hit that at Big Tens. There is good competition in our conference. Hopefully I can keep up the good work and keep building.”
Cappos is looking for continued success from Tutson, who has raised the UI school record in the discus more than 20 feet in three years. When Tutson arrived on campus, the school record was 160-5, set by Denise Taylor in 1992.
“This is setting her up for success at major events; she will be one of the top throwers at the Big Ten Championships,” Cappos said. “I think she can compete for an NCAA title if she continues to improve the way she has and hits the good throws when they count. On any day she can win a Big Ten title and a national title.”