ASU athletics ‘blueprint’ for its growing throwing team
Since 2016 ASU athletics assistant throws coach Brian blood rich has been looking for athletes to coach who fit his blueprint and are “Coach Blu” types. Under his leadership, the pitching team has won 10 NCAA titles, and just last year his team clinched four national titles.
Blutreich has been training for almost three decades and has competed at the highest level, qualifying and taking part in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. But some athletes say what makes Blutreich and his coaching methods great is not just his knowledge and love of the sport, but the relationship he builds with his athletes and the work they put in.
“It’s really surprising because his (blood rich) way of teaching is so easy,” said newcomer Werfer Ralph Mullings. “The thing about him is that he sees everything. It’s very detailed and that’s really good to have.”
With greats of all time like Magdalena Even and Samantha Noning featuring recently graduated and active program stars like Redshirt Senior Turner Washington and graduate student Jorinde van Klinken Blood Rich and his underclassmen are on their way out soon and will be working towards becoming the next generation of bowlers.
Above all, he appreciates the passion for the sport and for the process of working hard to achieve success. Each of the launchers he brings to the program fits the blueprint and has a passion to become great.
“My job is to coach these young people and develop their potential,” said Blutreich. “That’s where I put the most pressure on myself: to maximize their abilities. The results come from the students’ hard work and the information I give them, and then trying to work together in a coach-athlete relationship to push the limits and see what they can do.”
student in the first year Believe Bender won’t be competing until the outdoor season starts in March, but her presence on the roster is Blutreich’s ace up his sleeve. In high school, Bender became a national champion and was number 1 in the nation for discus and number 1 in California for shot put.
“She can really help us outdoors (to attend Pac-12 conference meetings) and we didn’t really want to waste a year of eligibility for her indoors and not have conference meetings because we know she’s a ban as a freshman to Nationals “Bloodrich said.
He competed in his first event as the Sun Devil at the Ax ‘Em Open on January 14, finishing seventh in the shot put with a throw of 16.16 meters. Blutreich said he believes Mullings can help the team with his discus throws during the outdoor season.
“It feels good to throw shot put again. Every week I want to get better and better and throw farther and farther, and I want to finish in the top five at discus, and that’s going to be over 60 meters. And I think I’m on the right track to be over 60,” Mullings said.
Red Shirt Junior Shelby Moran has three more years of eligibility and has already won the sixth longest outdoor hammer throw in ASU history.
Because Moran is primarily a hammer and discus thrower, she won’t be competing until March to focus on her game and prepare for a possible bid at the Outdoor Nationals.
Red shirt sophomore Mya Lesnar also debuted the Ax ‘Em Open, her first competitive event in a little over two years, winning the event with a throw of 15.65 meters. Her throw was inches from ASU’s top 10 list.
“I was hoping for better numbers, but that’s to come,” said Lesnar. “You know, there are a lot of days where the technique isn’t there, or maybe things aren’t going so well in the weight room, but in the end it will pay off and you just have to be patient. Working with Blu, I think I’ve definitely learned that.”
In high school, Lesnar was the 2019 Class AA State Champion for shot put, 2018 runner-up, and 2019 runner-up for discus. She was a three-time Section 8AA Shot Put Champion from 2017-19 and was selected to the Minnesota Girls All-Decade second team for throwing events.
“I’ve always had these big goals for myself and I think my confidence just went through the roof when I went to college and worked with Blu and I already had some pretty high expectations,” said Lesnar. “There is definitely something very special here and I’m really looking forward to the future.”
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