Deer Lodge – Class B’s record holder in the discus is no stranger to returning from injury.
As a junior, Deer Lodge’s Austin Forson nearly tore both his ACL and MCL, and dislocated his ankle and tibia in two separate incidents during basketball season. Forson worked tirelessly in the throwing ring throughout the spring, chasing his older brother Brandon’s records. At the Class B state meet last May, Forson unleashed a state record toss of 178 feet, 8 inches, surpassing his brother’s record by four inches.
“It was fun, it was intense. I couldn’t believe that I did it, neither could my coach,” Forson said in an interview with MTN Sports this spring. “We were just both excited, we just had a heyday after it. It was a great way to end the year.”
But the injury bug was going to bite Forson once more. During his sophomore football season, Forson had his right hand stepped on, leading to a hairline fracture in his scaphoid that would progressively get worse.
Eventually Forson needed surgery on his throwing hand, which he received after football season in October, more than two years after the injury initially happened. If not for the scar on his right hand, one might not know he was injured in the first place.
Just over six months removed from surgery, Forson is still fighting to regain full strength. He unleashed a monstrous throw early this season at the Jim Johnson Invitational in Alberton, measuring 187-04, currently the No. 15 distance in the nation, according to athletic.net.
Forson doesn’t feel as if the injury has set him back much in discus, as it allows him to stretch the muscles. It’s the shot put, rather, that Forson feels affected the most.
“It set me back more in shot, just with losing flexibility and mobility in (my wrist),” Forson said. “By spinning now, I used to glide and I went to spinning, and that’s been helping out a lot better now.”
Forson’s wrist certainly seems to be returning to full strength. At Tuesday’s Russ Pilcher Top 10 track and field meet, Forson nearly broke another of his brother Brandon’s records. He won the discus with a toss of 180-02, just short of the 181-07 brother Brandon threw in 2011.
The distances Forson finds himself reaching should come as no surprise. He can be found working on his craft in the throwing rings long after team practices conclude. Even in the offseason Forson finds ways to improve himself.
“Sometimes I just work up in the hills just to work with my legs, do some hiking,” Forson said about his offseason training. “I do some track meets over in Billings. I mainly go to the Big Sky State Games or any other short meet I can get in to or fit in to.”
The hours of work and dedication have led to Forson extending his throwing career. In the fall, Forson will be attending the University of Providence in Great Falls where he plans on throwing shot put, discus and possibly the hammer.
The University of Providence will be receiving a decorated thrower – Forson finished fifth in the discus as a freshman, and second as a sophomore before winning the Class B state title as a junior. He finished second in shot put as a junior as well.
Even an injury to his throwing hand can’t slow Austin Forson down as he looks to permanently forge his name in Montana’s record books.