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Merchant Marine Asst Coach Breaks Throw Record

United States Merchant Marine Academy assistant track and field coach Wilfredo De Jesus broke his Puerto Rican National Weight Throw record recently at the Crowell Invitational in West Point, with a distance of 20.70 meters.

Competing in the open division of the Crowell Invitational featuring top professional and semi-professional track and field athletes; De Jesus’ impressive mark was only bested by 2011 United States Weight Throw Champion Jacob Freeman, one of his training partners.

De Jesus has held the Puerto Rican Weight Throw record since 2007 when he topped the previous record holder, Santos Vega. De Jesus was also the Puerto Rican National Hammer Throw Champion in 2009, 2010 and 2011, has been a member of the Puerto Rican National team since 2004, and until a few years ago, held every Puerto Rican under 23 national record. 

In 2007, De Jesus was named Puerto Rican athlete of the year and became the first ever Puerto Rican to win a medal in the Pan American Games.

De Jesus will be competing at the Puerto Rican National Championships on June 14 and 15, but has his sights set on loftier goals as he will be representing Puerto Rico at the Central American and Caribbean Games. He only needs to increase his personal best distance by a small margin to qualify for world championships in Moscow. If he performs well at world championships, De Jesus is hopeful he can qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  

A native of Arroyo, Puerto Rico, De Jesus has been assisting the men’s and women’s track and field teams since August 2011. He primarily works as a throwing coach, also serving as an off-season strength and conditioning assistant for speed and power events.