He had been practicing his throws for the past month, but is now ready to step up to the heavier college weights — 16 pounds (up from 12) in the shot put and 2K (up from 1.61) in the discus — which he has ordered and is ready to begin practicing his standing throws.
“It’s kind of a big difference, but my hands got big this year so it was hard to get a good flip with the 12. There’s a much bigger ball with the 16 weight, which is going to help me,” said Manson. “My VCU coach (Jon Riley) said to just work on the basics to get used to the heavier weight because his style might be different, and he’ll teach me the technique he uses when I get down there next month.”
Orientation at VCU is Aug. 14, and Manson will check into his room four days later. Until then, he has a summer lifting program and running sprints to keep him busy.
“My mother already bought the plane tickets so I can come home when I get a break,” he said. “A lot of my friends are staying around here, but I’m only a 12-hour drive away and an hour plane ride. I will have some meets close to home because VCU competes in Boston, Rhode Island and New York. We’ll also travel to Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina.”