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ABOUT VENTURA COLLEGE AND THROWS COACH TOM LAWRENCE
Tom Lawrence began coaching the throwing events at Ventura County track and field powerhouse, Rio Mesa High School, in 1997. He was hired as the men's and women's throws coach at Ventura College in 1999. He was recommended for this position by his predecessor and mentor, former Olympic shot putter, Dave Laut.
Throwers under Coach Lawrence's tutelage have made significant improvements in all four throwing events. He has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to peak his throwers at the right time of the season. These late season personal bests are a direct result of individualized practice routines, Olympic weightlifting programs, video analysis, and visualization techniques.
The track and field season of 2009 marked the grand opening of one of the finest throwing facilities in the state of California. An Olympic size hammer/discus cage was installed, as well as two world class shot put rings with crushed granite landing sectors. This facility was the envy of every school in the conference during its grand opening at the 2009 Western State Conference Preliminary meet.
As a lifelong Ventura County resident, Coach Lawrence is committed to local athletes. He believes Ventura County provides more than enough local talent to win championships and break records. Therefore, he is dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and nurturing the best throwers the local community have to offer. Maybe you will be the next great Pirate thrower!
COACH LAWRENCE'S STABLE OF THROWERS
- Jerome Stevens- Rio Mesa High School record holder in boy's discus. Jerome also went on to play football at the University of Washington.
- Natasha Pomelli- Rio Mesa High School record holder in girl's shot put and discus. Natasha also qualified for the 2000 California Community College State Championship in women's discus while at Ventura College.
- Jason Beck (Hueneme HS)- 2nd place finisher at the 2002 California Community College State Championship in men's javelin.
- Miguel Campos (Oxnard HS)- Ventura College record holder in men's hammer.
- Sasha O'Brien (Nordhoff HS)- Ventura College record holder in women's hammer. Sasha broke the hammer record at the 2007 California Community College State Championships where she also competed in the shot put.
- Leilani Howard (Ventura HS)- 2008 Western State Conference champion in women's hammer and runner up in women's discus.
- Randi Hicks (Rio Mesa HS)- 2008 Western State Conference champion in women's javelin and women's shot put. Randi also finished second at the 2008 California Community College Championships in women's javelin and is the Ventura College school record holder in that event. 2009 repeated as Western State Conference champion and was also Socal champion and State Champion in javelin.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT COACH LAWRENCE
- Dave Laut (Hueneme HS AD) 1979 Pan American gold medalist and 1984 Olympic bronze medalist in men's shot put. "I have known Tom and the Lawrence family for as long as I can remember and can attest to his sincere devotion and loyalty toward teaching, coaching, and high expectations for his students and athletes. His knowledge of weight training, plyometrics, and specific throwing techniques is outstanding."
- Brian Fitzgerald (Rio Mesa HS AD) 1995 CIF-SS Track Coach of the Year, LA '84 Foundation Track and Field Lead Instructor, Mt. SAC Hall of Fame, 45 league championships while coaching at Rio Mesa HS. "I've seen Tom refine and develop his techniques at an amazing rate. He sets lofty goals for both himself and his teams and puts in an enormous amount of time to ensure that their experience on his team is a positive one. I believe him to be ethical, conscientious, and hard working. He is a fine role model and his athletes gain life long benefits from his guidance."
- Jon Mack (Ventura College Head Football Coach) Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame member, who coached three track and field teams to CIF Championship Runner Up finishes, four All Americans, and nine All State athletes. "I have known Tom since hiring him as a Social Science teacher and football coach at Saint Bonaventure High School in 1992. He was the first and only Assistant Head Football Coach I have ever had. I see in Tom many of the same qualities that I possess: leadership, confidence, patience, desire, and the ability to stay on the cutting edge of sports. His enthusiasm is contagious and anyone who knows him can't help but become excited about the things he embraces."
- Fred Morgan ( Ventura HS Throws Coach) SDSU Track and Field Alumni who competed in the javelin in the 1991 IAAF World Championships in Tokyo, bronze medalist at the 1991 South Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, American Samoa national record holder in discus and javelin. "Tom Lawrence is a student of the throws and attends clinics regularly to stay on the cutting edge of coaching these events. He has a keen eye for diagnosing potential faults in techniques and the savvy to make the necessary corrections. I have and will continue to encourage my throwers to attend Ventura College in order to benefit from his expertise."
- Ken Reeves 2 time National High School of the Year for Cross Country. Coached 22 Varsity league championship teams and 16 Individual CIF Champions in Track and Field as well as 11 State Championship teams in CC. Assistant Program Director for LA 84 Track/AAF and Field Coaching Education Program. Member of the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame, the Mt. Sac Cross Country Hall of Fame and Sunkist Indoor Games Hall of Fame. "I have had the honor to both watch and coach with Tom Lawrence. He has the unique ability to communicate well with both the neophyte thrower and the elite thrower. Tom takes time to work with any level thrower. He has turned beginning throwers into state level competitiors and he has turned elite throwers into Division 1 level throwers. He is the type of coach you would wnat your child to have. He works hard, teaches correct technique, and he instills the correct ethics about the sport, about education, and about life."
TO BECOME THE NEXT GREAT PIRATE THROWER CONTACT COACH LAWRENCE