Going the distance: Junior discus competitor earns first at district, sets new goals

Everyone who has played in some kind of sport has set goals for themselves; whether it’s physical, mental, or both. Many times, these goals can take months, even years, to reach. For one junior, Blaine Bright, the goals he set are ready and waiting; just a few more practices combined with continuing dedication, and those goals will be a reality.

Blaine started participating in track and field five years ago in middle school and works everyday to improve and reach his personal goals. During Blaine’s first track meet this year, he told an The Eagle reporter that his goal was to hit 140’ in the discus throw this year. Since then, he has put in the time and effort to reach that goal and turn his hard work into success.

Blaine’s discus coach, Glenn Schroeder, couldn’t be more proud of his athlete and what he has accomplished this year.

“Blaine’s a student of track, he’s a student of the game,” Schroeder said. “If he doesn’t get better, he knows he’s not getting better and he gets frustrated with himself. That’s what you want in an athlete, someone who sees what they’re doing wrong and goes out and corrects it and comes back and works on it over and over and over again.”
Blaine’s will to move forward in the sport is undeniable and he recognizes that each obstacle takes work and effort to overcome.

“The most difficult times are the low spots that everyone goes through,” Blaine said. “It’s always hard when you’re doing good then come down really low one week, like not being able to stay inside the ring or to keep falling out of the ring, just getting past that and moving on is important.”

As a multi-sport athlete, Blaine participates in track, powerlifting, and football and has noticed the benefits of being a well-rounded athlete.

“Football has helped a lot because it’s all in the hips the same way as it is in discus,” Blaine said. “It’s all power into the legs and the hips. Powerlifting has been good too because it helped me get stronger.”
Schroeder agrees that Blaine is a great example of how a multi-disciplined athlete reaps the benefits of different sports.

“Football and powerlifting really help a thrower like Blaine,” Schroeder said. “When he explodes out of his stance it’s fast, it’s hard, but those two things are things Blaine really needs to keep working on, especially going into next year if he hopes to keep getting better.”

Schroeder sees Blaine as an athlete that will continue to put in the time and effort to progress next year and reach new goals during his senior year.

“Being a thrower, he definitely needs those fast twitch muscles,” Schroeder said. “Sometimes coaches see seniors lose those abilities because they think football is over, or powerlifting is over. Seniors sometimes fall to the wayside and don’t throw as well, but I don’t anticipate that happening with Blaine.”

The determination and discipline Blaine uses to push himself can also be seen in how he leads others on the team.
“Blaine is a very vocal leader,” Schroeder said. “I get to practice a little late sometimes with off-season basketball going on, and frequently when I get out there, he’s already going through footwork with all the boys, especially all the young ones.”

Blaine took home the district title in the discus throw and the entire team wasexcited to see his success.
“Blaine’s throw was exciting,” Schroeder said. “He was sitting in 4th and the guy in front of him threw and put Blaine in 5th which meant he wouldn’t advance to area. Then Blaine went out there and on his very next throw busted out a 139’ 7” throw.”

Although Blaine stands out as a leader and player, his district throw shocked both himself and teammates because despite a strong headwind, he set a personal record which earned him first place.

“Setting a personal record feels really great because I know a couple of guys at district were really good swingers and really good athletes,” Blaine said. “I was five inches short of my goal, but there’s always next year I almost hit it on the dot at district and came out with first.