CONVENTION UPDATE: A Glance At The Throws Symposiums
NEW ORLEANS – Technical Symposiums will once again take center stage at the annual U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention. This year the Technical Symposiums will be presented by REKORTAN.
Like the past few years, there will be 32 Technical Symposiums spread across four days at the USTFCCCA Convention, which this year will take place from Monday, December 17 through Thursday, December 20 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa deep in the heart of Texas.
For those who don’t know about the Technical Symposiums – or need a refresher – four disciplines will be represented: Endurance, jumps, sprints/hurdles/relays and throws. Eight coaches will share their knowledge with their colleagues in each discipline, which brings us to the grand total of 32 dissertations.
Here is a closer look at six coaches who are scheduled to present Technical Symposiums in the throws discipline.
Scott Cappos, Nebraska
Scott Cappos has coached more than 100 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships (preliminary round and finals) in his 22 years of collegiate coaching. More than 50 athletes that were under his watch have won conference championships and earned All-America honors in the shot put, discus, javelin, hammer, weight throw, long jump, high jump and both multi-events.
Success has followed Cappos at each of his stops as he guided Nick Percy to an NCAA discus title in 2016, helped athletes break numerous Big Ten records in 18 years at Iowa and coached seven All-Americans in several years at Western Michigan.
Clendon Henderson, Liberty
Clendon Henderson has helped athletes qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in seven of his 10 years as a collegiate coach. Just this past outdoor season, he guided Dasiana Larson (women’s hammer) and Denzel Pratt (men’s javelin) to Eugene, Oregon.
Liberty has been quite successful under Henderson’s watch, as the program has won 54 Big South event titles and broke school records in seven different events in the past 10 years. Pratt also set a Bahamian national record in the javelin with a heave of 70.72m (232-0).
Lucais MacKay, Penn State
After an athletic career that saw him win the NCAA hammer title in 2003 and earn multiple All-America honors in the same event, Lucais MacKay turned to helping athletes win their share. In nine years as a coach, MacKay has guided four athletes to NCAA titles (Eric Flores and Britlyn Garrett at NCAA DIII Cal Lutheran, Nick Miller at Oklahoma State and David Lucas at Penn State) and mentored athletes to 12 total All-America honors (7 NCAA DI, 5 NCAA DIII).
MacKay has coached at NCAA DIII Cal Lutheran, Southeastern Louisiana, Oklahoma State and now Penn State.
Mohamad Saatara, California
Mohamad Saatara’s throwers have been a mainstay at both the collegiate and international ranks for quite some time. Saatara has coached numerous All-Americans between his time at California and Michigan and has overseen the development of seven Olympians, namely Amin Nikfar, whom he coached since 2006 and has competed at both the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games.
This past summer, Saatara coached Camyrn Rogers to the U-20 World Championship in the hammer, which is the first World Championship at any level for the Golden Bears.
Eric Werskey, Iowa
Eric Werskey turned an All-American collegiate career at Auburn and Indiana into a successful coaching career. Since he entered the coaching ranks at Cal State Northridge three years ago and since moved to Iowa, Werskey-led athletes won several conference titles and took home four All-America honors from the NCAA Championships.
As an athlete, Werskey has trained alongside some of the world’s best throwers, including Joe Kovacs, Tia Brooks, Whitney Ashley and many others that spent time with him at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.
Zeb Sion, Texas
When a group of throwers scores enough points at the NCAA Championships to place ninth as a team alone, you know a coach is doing something right. That’s exactly what Zeb Sion’s Stanford women did outdoors last year. Sion, now at Texas, watched his athletes score 31 points – the most by any group of throwers in the past 20 years – which included the first 1-2 sweep of the javelin in NCAA DI women’s history.
Over his 11-year career, Sion-coached athletes have earned 26 All-America honors with 11 coming at Stanford, 11 more at NCAA DIII U of Chicago and four at Wake Forest.