PR: 87.12m/285-10 (1997)
Born: May 28, 1968, in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Current Residence: LaGrange, Ill.
High School: Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill. 86
Colleges: DuPage JC 88; Florida 90
Coach: Jeff Gorski
Agent: Ray Flynn
Career Highlights: Six-time U.S. javelin champion; 2-time Olympian; ranked #1 in U.S. seven times by T&FN
The grand old man of American javelin throwing, Pukstys tried to make his third Olympic team in 2004, but fell just short with his fourth place finish at the Olympic Trials in Sacramento. The top U.S. javelin thrower for nearly a decade, Pukstys returned to competition in 2003 following a brief retirement in 2002, and had a best throw of 79.31/260-2 in his win at the Modesto Relays. His winning performance at Modesto was the fourth-best throw by an American in 2003. Pukstys parents came to the U.S. from Lithuania in 1949, but visited there occasionally. It was in Lithuania that brother Andrew attended medical school. Andrew brought a javelin home to Tom, who fell in love with it, throwing 155-feet in his first meet. Pukstys quit baseball and went out for track, throwing 58-1 (shot) and 178-8 (discus) in high school. Since Illinois does not include the javelin in its high school meets, he practiced that on his own. He threw an American Junior Record 234-1 as a frosh at DuPage, then trained with John Kennison while at Florida...broke his first American record in June 1993...has a degree in public relations... has a great fondness for motorcycles...has been promoting motorcycle races: I have a lot of friends who ride and I find this is a fun way to use my marketing skills...has had some training sessions with Tom Petranoff, the former world record holder: Hes helped me a lot with my technique. He has such enthusiasm and knowledge, and he wants to help out. Hes going to make a major impact on the javelin. Hes our secret weapon ... says I want to medal in a Worlds or Olympics. If I can stand on that podium I dont care what color the medal is. Ill be able to walk away from this sport totally content, with a smile on my face. Had a tough year in 2001 with back problems, rotator-cuff surgery and a torn plantar fascia tendon in right foot. Pronounces name puck-stiss.
2005: Did not
2004: 4th at Olympic Trials (75.37m/247-03)1st at La Jolla (78.85m/258-8)ranked #3 in U.S. by T&FNbest of 78.85m/258-8.
2003: 5th at USA Outdoors (73.16m/240-0)1st at Modesto Relays (79.31m/260-2)ranked #3 in U.S. by T&FNbest of 79.31m/260-2.
2002: Did not compete.
2001: 2nd at USA Outdoors (74.49/244-5)11th in qualifying at World Outdoor Championships (78.10m/256-3)ranked #2 in U.S. by T&FNbest of 79.48m/260-9.
2000: 2nd at Olympic Trials (260-4)...did not compete in Sydney (because 1st place finisher Breaux Greer had not achieved A standard, nor had any finisher other than Pukstys)...ranked #2 in U.S. by T&FN...best of 276-5 (leading mark by an American).
1999: Won USA Outdoors (256-0)... did not compete at World Champs (back injury)...ranked #1 in U.S. by T&FN...best of 275-11.
1998: Won USA Outdoors (270-2)...Won Sea-Ray Relays (279-1)...2nd at Goodwill Games (262-0)...ranked #1 U.S. by T&FN...best of 279-1.
1997: Won USA Outdoors (275-6 MR)...14th in qualifying at World Champs (258-0)...4th in GP Final (281-1)...ranked #9 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN...best of 285-10.
1996: 2nd at Olympic Trials (267-8)...8th in Olympic Games (274-2)...ranked #5 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN...best of 284-10.
1995: Won USA Outdoors (267-4)...19th in qualifying at World Champs (249-9)...8th in GP Final (261-0)...ranked #1 U.S. by T&FN...best of 277-3.
1994: 2nd at USA Outdoors (253-9)...ranked #2 U.S. by T&FN...best of 270-1.
1993: Won USA Outdoors (272-6 MR)...9th in World Champs (255-8)...5th in GP Final (256-9)...ranked #5 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN...best of 281-2.
1992: Won Olympic Trials (262-5)...10th in Olympic Games...4th in World Cup (255-1)...ranked #7 in world (#1 U.S.) by T&FN...best of 272-11.
1991: 3rd in USA Outdoors (255-9)...26th in qualifying at World Champs (245-9)...ranked #3 U.S. by T&FN...best of 268-0.
1990: 4th in NCAA...ranked #2 U.S. by T&FN...best of 273-3.
1989: 4th in NCAA...5th in USA Outdoors...ranked #5 U.S. by T&FN...best of 245-6.
1988: 29th in qualifying at Olympic Trials...best of 248-5.
1987: Best of 247-4.
1986: 5th in USA Juniors...best of 208-8.