Clarke on pace to peak for USATF Outdoor Championships
Thing is, though, he hasn’t even reached his ceiling.
Clarke believes his best is yet to come and the 24-year-old former four-time NCAA champion hopes to pop the big one in two weeks at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
“I’m feeling really good,” he told me. “Starting to get into good shape and excited to peak fully for USAs and try and make the Worlds teams.”
Clarke, of Bartlett High fame, turned in a season-best performance at the adidas Grand Prix with a throw of 70 feet, 0.25 inches to finish second on the world stage for the second straight week.
“Training has just been going really well,” he said. “I’ve been working on the same plan with my coach now the last several years and my technique of the throw is starting to really come along and click rhythmically and timing wise.
“I’ve improved my strength but the biggest asset is the improvement on my throw technique. I’m really excited to see what I can do in a couple weeks when I am fully tapered.”
At the USATF Championships, Clarke will compete for a spot on the IAAF World Championships team in Beijing, China, at the end of August. He will also look to better his PR of 70-1.5.
The 6-foot-4 Alaskan has always possessed the raw power of a polar bear, but today he is finally full strength after recovering from a torn tendon in his right index finger that limited his training for most of 2014.
When healthy, he has shown the capability to challenge the best in the world.
“The power development has been there for a while,” Clarke said. “I have gotten more explosive and faster in the ring. But nervous system is still not firing full go because of heavy weight-room work, so once I rest more and work on more plyometric and speed training the next two weeks without getting sore, the big throw is very close to happening.
“It’ll be more prone to coming out when the body fires on all cylinders. It’s easier to execute correct movements and feels faster once you peak.”