Freeman Breaks Smith's Record


By WSIL Sports

CARBONDALE -- In 1984, SIU All-American John Smith delivered one of his best throws in his shot put career as he set the SIU all-time indoor record.

Nearly 30 years have past, and the record was finally broken due to one of his pupils.

Smith has now coached the Salukis' throw team for the past 10 years. He has watched as a fan and now a coach, Saluki athletes attempt to break his record but it had not been done until the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday. Smith stood watching as his athlete, sophomore Josh Freeman, broke his record with a throw of 19.25 meters.

"Coach just told me that he knew it was going to come," said Freeman. "When it happened he just shook my hand, congratulated me, and that was that."

"It took me four and a half years to set that record and it took Josh just one and half years to get rid of it," said Smith.

Freeman delivered the record breaking throw on his final attempt of the day, just as his coach did nearly 30 years ago.

"His mom and dad walked in just before his sixth throw and he was all psyched up," said Smith. "He just tore into a throw without thinking and everything that he has trained to do, just happened."

"A lot of my best throws have come on my sixth and final throws," said Freeman. "The crowd is just fired up and it is just an awesome feeling. It is like hitting a walk-off homerun basically."

Freeman still has two and a half years to compete at the collegiate level at SIU, and the sky is the limit for this thrower.

"It is a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season," said Freeman. "We hope to go for All-American this year and then next year a national title."

Coach Smith still holds the SIU outdoor record, but it might not be long before Freeman captures that mark too.



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