Georgetown News
Graham Smith makes a practice throw at nationals.
Graham Smith makes a practice throw at nationals.
Men's Outdoor Track & Field - Wed, May 24, 2017

Graham Smith's throw of 56.3 meters during day two of the Mid-South Conference Track and Field Championships made him the third Tiger in the modern era to qualify in javelin for the national meet.

The 2017 NAIA Track and Field Championships gets underway Thursday and Smith will be on deck as the sixth individual Georgetown College athlete to compete. He joins John Michael Mayo and Derek Sword to throw javelin at nationals.

Mayo did it twice – 2008 and 2009. He finished 12th the same year Sword (2008) was there, who finished 16th. Graham's throw at the MSC championships would have been good enough for 10th in 2008, but he would have been fifth a season ago.

Graham, a Lexington, Ky. native, went through practice throws yesterday and is feeling ready for this opportunity. The former baseball player picked up the javelin for the first time as a sophomore transfer to Georgetown in 2015-16. He perfected his technique under the tutelage of throwing coach Doug Keaton, and in just his second season finished second at conference and is on the national stage.

"This is very exciting," said GC coach Lucas Garnett. "The first time he ever picked up a javelin was 16 months ago. He approached me about joining the team and trying javelin. I took him out to a parking lot and gave him a practice Turvo Jav. After seeing one throw I knew he was going to be a special athlete, so I told him practice starts tomorrow. Since then Graham has worked as hard as any athlete and it would not be a shock if he does big things at this meet or future meets."

Garnett understands that intensity of the national meet both as an athlete and coach. He ran the marathon in 2010 and was in his first season this past year when Tayler Godar finished fifth in the 800-meter run and became the first modern era Tiger to earn All-American status.

Godar was a three time competitor and also qualified for the 1,500-meter run her junior year to give her four races at nationals.

Mathew Swinson is the lone other field athlete, and he competed in 2009 in triple jump.

Britney Chesser Ping qualified in 2010, but do to an injury was unable to compete. Georgetown College restarted track in the mid-2000.


 

 
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