Josh Freeman felt everything was in place for a big performance Sunday and he was right.
The 2012 Cary-Grove graduate took the shot put gold medal at the Pan American Junior Track and Field Championships in Medellin, Colombia. Freeman, a sophomore at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, was second in the USA qualifying meet to Coy Blair.
Results on various websites from the meet were not immediately posted.
Freeman (6-foot-5, 305 pounds) decided in the spring to forgo the NCAA regional meet and let an ankle injury heal. He then set sites on the USA Junior National Championships, which was in Des Moines, Iowa in late June.
The Pan Am Games takes athletes up to 18 years old and Freeman made it under the deadline. He turned 19 on Thursday when he arrived in Colombia for the meet.
Earlier this week, Freeman, who won Class 3A shot put and discus state titles in 2012, said he felt strong in the weight room and with his training. He threw the international shot put (which is 13.22 pounds compared to the 12-pound high school shot) almost 67 feet. The college shot weighs 16 pounds.
“I lost 20 pounds over the summer to gain speed,” Freeman said this week. “It’s going really, really well. I’ve gotten a lot stronger.”