Monday, February 23, 2009

Latest bunch of state records little noticed

Of all the highlights of this past weekend--and there were many including Becca Addison's oversized 2:12.77 for 800m--the event that produced the state records got precious little attention.

That's probably because we're not used to giving discus throwers much attention indoors. Grand Valley throws coach Cory Young set up a high school discus throwing competition last Saturday, prior to the MITS meet at GVSU's new facility. It was the first indoor discus competition ever held in the state.

By default, that means that Zack Hill's 170-3 and Samantha Lockhart's 118-11 are the new state records. There were more state records along the way. They all count, even if they only lasted for a few minutes (or seconds--see below). Tanner Hardester of Zeeland East got the first state record, with his opening throw of 129-4. Then his junior teammate Lee VanKampen broke it by more than nine feet with a 138-10.

That's when Hill took over the show, throwing a first round 160-0, and a second round 167-4, both records. He went 157-3 on his third throw, and the big 170-3 on throw four. Pressing maybe too hard then, he hit 151-5 in round 5, and fouled his last toss.

On the girls side it was all Lockhart, leading off at 107-8. She followed that with throws of 106-6, 104-2, 118-11 and then two fouls. Altogether, there were seven state records in the competition.

Heck, even if only for a few minutes, holding a state record is something to crow about.

Reminds me of the women's pentathlon event at the 1980 Olympics. In this forerunner of the heptathlon, the bronze medalist finished first in the final event, the 800m. Her score of 4875 set a new world record. Just 1.2 seconds later the silver medalist finished with a score of 4937, another world record. Then Nadezhda Tkachenko (a former steroid convict) crossed the line 0.4 seconds later, with a new world record of 5083. To any of us who have ever dreamed of holding a world record, to do so for just 4/10 of a second is a heck of a lot better than nothing!

Does the GVSU competition mean the indoor discus will be taking off soon as an event? Probably not. While plenty of manufacturers sell an indoor practice discus, I'm aware of only one other venue that offers an indoor competition, the University of Idaho. While I'm sure high schoolers have thrown before nationally, I don't have those marks at my fingertips. I'll let you know if I find them.

With the efforts of college coaches Cory Young (GVSU) and Norm Zylstra (Calvin) giving our high school throwers such a great boost on the west side of the state, fans have a lot to be thankful for this year.

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