Josh Awotunde got right to work this spring, opening his junior year at South Carolina with a mammoth personal-best 64-10 3/4 at the Weems Baskin Invitational at South Carolina’s new home track facility in Columbia, S.C.
Awotunde’s previous PR came in his previous meet, a 64-6 on his final throw at the NCAA indoor championships at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, where he placed fifth for his second career All-America honor.
Early on, Awotunde’s 64-10 3/4 is the No. 1 mark in NCAA Division 1.
Awotunde, a Franklinville native and Delsea graduate, actually placed second to professional thrower Kurtis Roberts, who popped a 68-0 1/4 on his second throw at the Sheila and Morris Craggier Track.
Awotunde opened with a 60-11 1/4, improved to 61-11 1/2 on his second throw, 62-5 1/4 on his third and then popped his 64-10 3/4 on his first throw of the finals. He backed it up with two more big throws — 63-4 1/4 and 64-6 3/4.
So the top three throws of his life have come within his last seven throws.
Awotunde’s previous outdoor PR was a 63-9 from last year’s NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Awotunde’s mark is No. 2 in South Carolina history and best in 18 years. Brad Snyder set the school record of 67-3 1/2 in 1999.
Awotunde is No. 5 in Gamecocks history in the discus at 191-5 from the 2015 Penn Relays but hasn’t thrown the discus yet this spring.