Going the distance: Junior earns second at region, improves with personal best

Arissa Mejia

The discus weighs heavily in junior Justin Sheridan’s hand as he prepares to launch it across the field. He begins his spin and then releases as his eyes focus on where the discus will land.

At the district meet, Justin threw 137’1” to finish in 3rd place and threw 148’5” at area to place second and advance to region.

“Honestly, I have no idea how I increased so much so quickly,” Justin said. “Practicing and pushing myself to do my best helped me out.”

Discus coach Glen Schroeder was proud of Justin for increasing his throw at area and recognizes the efforts Justin has put in.

“I don’t think I was happier than him but I was really happy for him,” Schroeder said. “I had seen it at practice and he’s busted out some even further throws than that, Justin showed that you can’t just do it at practice, you have to do it when it really matters and at the area meet he showed out and I was ecstatic for him because he’s put in a lot of work.”

Justin plans on practicing discus throughout senior year not just during track season, but also during football season because the two compliment each other and will help him improve.

“I plan on throwing as much as possible throughout the year instead of just during track,” Justin said. “Football definitely gives me a lot more endurance and then track and field builds my strength.”

Schroeder believes that creating versatile playing football is an advantage for discus because football training helps a lot with building up strength.

“Football is great for his feet and that’s important as a thrower,” Schroder said. “Power is also very important, so all the power lifting they do helps with his strength a lot. It’s all going to help increase his power.

Teammate Blaine Bright recognizes Justin’s improvements and has seen him grow over time during their time together throwing discus.

“In practice before district, I knew he had a throw in him that could potentially win the area meet,” Blaine said. “Seeing him achieve his full potential at area was exciting.”

Blaine also knew that Justin’s efforts during practices would help him throw well at area and to continue in future meets.

“As a senior on the team with four years of experience, it came naturally to help Justin improve his skills,” Blaine said. “I’m proud of him for improving this season and making it to regionals.”

Schroeder is excited to see how much Justin will improve during his senior year and to see how far he is going to go.

“I believe that if we do better in practice and work on throws individually, as long as you are competing with yourself everyday to get better and you are improving personally every day, then that’s really all you can ask for,” Schroeder said. “Justin realistically can improve and that could put him in state right now with some of the best, so it’s gonna be on us to help him keep working hard because his work ethic is never going to change.”