LINCOLN, Neb. (BVM) — Tyler Brown surpassed his own expectations for his high school track and field career — and then some. As a freshman at Lincoln East, he set a goal to throw the discus 170 feet by the end of his senior year.
“That would be a really good mark to throw,” Brown said, “and probably get me into college somewhere.”
But Brown sailed past that mark as a sophomore, and as a junior last year, he had a personal-best throw of 192 feet, which ranked as the nation’s No. 16 mark among prep competitors in 2019. This past spring, the school record of 198-9, held by 1993 graduate Scott McPherren, might’ve been in jeopardy.
“He’d have had as good of a shot as anybody,” Lincoln East head track and field coach John Gingery said. “If anybody was going to give it a run, Tyler would’ve been the one to do it.”
“I felt like I had a lot of momentum (after last year),” Brown said, “and I could’ve done something special my senior year. … I was definitely focused on getting the record. I know my progression freshman to junior year was really rapid and I really felt like he had a good shot at it this year.”
Brown lost the opportunity to break the record when spring sports were canceled in Nebraska — just as they were in every other state in the country — due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the future Nebraska Cornhusker still has plenty of big throws ahead of him at the Division I college level, and maybe beyond. Brown is not only a two-time Gatorade Nebraska Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, he’s also a two-time USA Track & Field Nebraska Association Junior Olympic Athlete of the Year, and he took second in the discus at the USATF Junior Olympics last summer.
Brown’s rapid progression from the start of his high school career to now is impressive, and it would lead one to believe he’ll be able to make big strides in the Big Ten at Nebraska as well. But he’ll first have to get adjusted to a heavier discus, a transition he’s already begun making. College throwers use a discus that weighs 2 kilograms or approximately 4½ pounds, while the high school discus is 1.6 kilos or approximately 3½ pounds.
“I think lifting’s going to be a big part of me improving in college,” Brown said, “because I know I have pretty decent technique for a high schooler, but I’m really missing that strength and that’s something I can definitely get at Nebraska.”
As he gets stronger, there’s no telling just how far Brown will be able to throw — or how far he’ll take his throwing career.
“He’s just a real competitor and that’s what makes him unique,” Gingery said. “I think the sky’s the limit for him. Obviously he’ll be throwing a bigger disc in college, but he’s got a ton of potential. He’s the kind of kid that can go beyond college and do some special things.”