Iowa City's own works to be one of the nation's best throwers

BY CODY GOODWIN | APRIL 03, 2012 6:30 AM

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Junior Majesty Tutson prepared to throw the discus during track practice at the Cretzmeyer Track on a warm, windy Wednesday afternoon.

She has a habit of whispering something to herself as she picks up a disc — on this particular day, it was a technical feature she was working on to help perfect her release.

She paused, got in position, and focused on her footwork. With a few steps, turns, and a grunt, she let the two-pound disc fly through the air and land somewhere between 46 and 50 meters away. She wasn't exactly sure how far it flew — and she doesn't really care about the distance, anyway.

She's more focused on her execution.

"I have a lot of stuff wrong with my technique," Tutson said. "The big stuff is all there, but it's the little stuff I need to tweak."

The little stuff is all a returning Big Ten runner-up can really be expected to focus on when it comes to her favorite event, the discus. It's the event she has performed the longest — since junior high — and that experience has been vital to the junior's success.

Head coach Layne Anderson said he's excited for Tutson to start throwing the discus again, because he thinks it will be important for her and the team as a whole.

"We've always said to focus on your specific event," he said. "We're adding events [like Tutson's] that we have the ability to score well in."

Tutson has taken advantage of her build — she sports long arms and legs — and her natural athleticism to become a successful discus thrower.

Assistant coach Scott Cappos said Tutson's work ethic will help her compete to be one of the best throwers in the nation this outdoor season.

"The things I've seen her work on over the years have been her work ethic, her determination, and her attitude," he said. "Now when you see her throw, she's more consistent. She still has things to work on, and she works hard for it."

Tutson said confidence is a valuable attribute for any thrower. And while she has plenty of it, she admitted a good portion of her confidence comes from throwing practically in her own backyard.

The Iowa City native said her support system helped her become more certain of her abilities. Family, friends, and coaches all care and are behind her, Tutson said.

That helps release the nerves and keeps her morale high.

"It wouldn't have been the same had I gone somewhere else," she said. "If I would've excelled, I would've had people behind me. But when you're not excelling, people wouldn't have been as supportive, which would've affected your comfortability."

But Tutson had her eyes set on the Black and Gold from the word go. Cappos only had to make a home visit in order to keep her in Iowa City.

"She didn't even come on an official visit," he said. "We do all this recruiting — we spend $20,000 to $30,000 a year on prospective student-athletes to bring them to campus and whatnot … with Majesty, she just told me she loves Iowa. It's kind of nice when someone like that becomes one of the best throwers in the country."

Tutson doesn't shy away from big expectations. Her goal this year is simple: win the conference meet. But in order to do that, she said, she'll have to stay consistent and throw well during the day of the meet.

"Everyone there is capable of throwing what it takes to win the Big Ten [meet]," she said. "It really just depends on what you do on the day of."

Follow DI women's track and field reporter Cody Goodwin on Twitter.

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