Ricky Nelson of the Barton Community College men’s track and field team placed fourth Sunday in the men’s discus throw at the 2016 USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships held in Clovis, Calif. Outside of the top two USA automatic qualifiers for the World Championships, the returning sophomore from Belleville, Ill., earned Junior All-American status awarded to the top six placers.
Nelson began the event with his best throw of the meet, a 55.89m throw that would lead the fifteen participants after the first round. Two fouls on either side of his fourth round 53.14m throw was the only other mark leaving his first round throw as his best of the day.
“I’m very proud of Ricky as he had a great freshman season,” said Barton Track and Field Head Coach David Schenek. “Although he came up a little short of making the World Junior team for the USA, Ricky proved he belongs with the best young discus throwers out there. The future is very bright for him!”
The championship capped off Nelson’s freshman campaign of earning two top fifteen NJCAA indoor finishes in the shot put and weight throw before garnering NJCAA All-American outdoor honors with a third place discus throw finish and a seventh placing in the hammer throw.
The USATF Junior Outdoor Championships boasted the nation’s premier junior athletes ranging from ages 14-19 from around the United States competing for a spot on Team USA, serving as the selection meet for the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 19-24.