May 27, 2019 | 66° F

John Mooers establishes himself as elite discus thrower at Rutgers


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Photo by The Daily Targum |

With the Big Ten Championships on the horizon, there are several notable athletes on both the Rutgers men’s and women’s track and field teams that can potentially place highly or even nab a personal record, but there's one athlete in particular that has made his final year as a Scarlet Knight one to remember. 

Senior John Mooers has definitely left his final year with several high points, but he has not always been the school record holder for discus.

As a freshman, Mooers mainly competed in the hammer throw, which lasted through his sophomore year until his focus was directed onto discus. In his freshman year, Mooers’s best finish was fifth in discus and third in hammer throw. 

He did not frequent the podium, since a majority of his placements landed him in the double-digits. But, moving into his sophomore year, there was a clear shift in talent. As a sophomore, Mooers only landed in a double-digit finish three times, two of which were in shot put, a new event for him.

While he did nab a personal record in hammer throw his sophomore year, he was never able to improve off of that distance of 48.31 meters. This distance also gave him a fourth-place finish, which matched his best finish of the season.

This personal record in the hammer throw also allowed him to place third in Rutgers history. He follows right behind sophomore Jason Campbell, who recorded a 48.81 meter throw.

His personal best in his sophomore was recorded at 50.44 meters, which landed him in fourth place at the Metropolitan Championships, here at Rutgers. 

Mooers was never able to top fourth place in his sophomore year, no matter the event, but that was all about to change as he transitioned into his junior year on the Banks.

In his first meet of the season, Mooers landed on the podium with a throw of 53.65 meters, which was more than a 10-foot difference to his previous personal best during his sophomore year. 

Mooers's junior year was different than his two previous years, since he focused on discus and did not compete in either the hammer throw or the shot put. This was a good decision that he and the coaching staff had made for the remainder of his track and field career.

Since he was able to direct all of his attention on discus, he could focus solely on it, pushing himself to the next level, where he is today.

One of the most surprising pieces of information from his junior year was that he only threw below 170 meters once, and it only missed the mark by a measly 3 feet.

Moving on to the current senior year that Mooers is taking part in, he has been crushing his personal records with great significance. While in his junior year he placed highly compared to his previous years, in his senior year alone, he has scored three first, one second and one third-place win in his six total meets. 

Mooers has been breaking his personal records back to back, and currently, he sits with a recorded 56.45-meter throw to place third at the most recent Penn Relays. 

Mooers was able to score first place three times in a row before the 125th Penn Relays, and two of those first-place wins also came with a personal record being broken.

His first personal best in his last year as a Knight came with a throw of 54.35 meters, and now he has almost broken that record by 10 feet.

It's rare to see a Division I athlete rack in personal records so far away from his previous bests in their senior years, but somehow Mooers continues to impress and improve in his final meets of his collegiate career.

With the Big Ten Championships coming up this weekend, one can only imagine the hard work Mooers is putting in prior to this meet. He currently stands in seventh place out of the Big Ten teams with his personal record thus far.

While he's not on the podium, it's not out of the question that Mooers is able to break his personal record by nearly 10 feet again to gain on the top throwers in this conference.


For updates on the Rutgers track and field teams, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.


Delaney Zubrick

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