By MARK NELKE
Bart Templeman is providing the facility. Jarred Rome is delivering the talent.
Many of the top post-collegiate discus, hammer and shot put throwers in the U.S. are scheduled to compete at the inaugural Iron Wood/Ben Plunknett Throws Meet, scheduled for Saturday, June 14 starting at 3 p.m. at Templeman's throwing facility at the corner of Ramsey Road and Highway 53 (1620 Highway 53).
"With Iron Wood, we wanted to put on a meet at Bart's facility to promote the sport, and give athletes a good place to throw," said Rome, a two-time Olympian who retired last year and is now throws coach at Concordia College in Portland.
Templeman founded the Iron Wood Thrower Development Camp, for throwers age 14 all the way to masters, and the largest camp of its kind in the country. Templeman was the director of the camp for the first 23 years, before Rome, the former Boise State thrower and ex-workout partner of Post Falls legend Ian Waltz, took over last year.
The 25th edition of the camp is slated for July 7-12 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.
The top three discus throwers from last year's U.S. championships are expected to compete on June 14, led by Lance Brooks, last year's national champion, a 2012 Olympian, a member of the USA world championship team in 2011 and '13, who sports a best throw of 215 feet.
Former Idaho thrower Russ Winger was second at nationals last year, and has a best throw of 216 feet. James Plummer was third last year at nationals, and Mike Torie had the fifth-best discus throw last year at 208 feet.
Highlighting the hammer field is Kibwe Johnson, the third best hammer thrower in U.S. history (roughly 260 feet). He was an Olympian in 2008 and '12, has won numerous national titles, and was on the world championship team in 2009, '11 and '13.
Among the shot putters expected to compete are Cory Martin, an Olympian in 2012, with a best of 72 feet, 5 inches; Kurt Roberts, a member of the 2013 world championship team, who has thrown 71 feet; Jordan Clark, a two-time NCAA shot put champ at Arizona State with a best of 70-10; and Zack Lloyd, formerly of Utah State and Arizona, a member of last year's world championship team, who has thrown 69 feet.
"The shot is the showcase event here," Rome said. "To have five guys over 69 feet is unheard of. You'd have to go to the U.S. nationals to see that."
Around 14 throwers total are expected for the three events. Admission is free, though Rome suggests fans arrive by 2:30 because of the logistics of the parking and the throwing events.
The meet is a USA Track and Field developmental meet. This is one of four meets per year per event that the USATF will fund, meaning they cover the costs of getting the athletes to North Idaho as well as covering their expenses here. The top four placers in each event will earn cash prizes, Rome said.
The discus is scheduled to be the first event, immediately followed by the hammer and then the shot put, though Rome said that order could change.
Templeman has 5 acres for his indoor and outdoor throwing facilities. He recently bought 5 more acres, which could allow for the javelin to also be held there in the future.
Templeman has been working with Rome for some seven years, as a volunteer coach at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Rome, 37, first got the throwing bug while attending Templeman's Iron Wood camps in 1993 and '94, when it was being held at North Idaho College, and he was attending Marysville-Pilchuck (Wash.) High. Rome went on to compete in four Olympic Trials and made four world championship teams. He was ranked No. 2 in the country last year before retiring. Templeman approached Rome in 2012 about taking over the Iron Wood camp. Rome was busy competing in the Olympics that year, but agreed to take over in 2013.
"Bart is all about helping throwers in this country," Rome said. "If it wasn't for IronWood, I wouldn't have had a 21-year career."