The overlooked track and field event

A day in the life of a discus athlete.

Big+smiles+for+Madi+and+I+after+completing+%0Aour+second+meet+against+the+PHU+rivals%21%0A
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The overlooked track and field event

Big smiles for Madi and I after completing 
our second meet against the PHU rivals!

Big smiles for Madi and I after completing our second meet against the PHU rivals!

Big smiles for Madi and I after completing our second meet against the PHU rivals!

Big smiles for Madi and I after completing our second meet against the PHU rivals!

Victoria Valby, Staff Writer

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If you are one of those people who believed the only members of the track and field team were runners, you are not alone. Up until about six weeks ago, I had never heard of “discus,” what is was, how it was relevant to track and field, or why Mr. Maisner was asking me to do it, but if you know Mr. Maisner, it is hard to deny his inspirational speeches. So, there I was, signed up to attend discus practice the following week… interesting.

Thankfully I was not alone in this endeavor. Senior Madi Sonnenberg embarked on this adventure with me, as we both said it was the final semester of high school, and what better place to leave our mark than on the discus field. We also were joined by seniors Jessica McGinnis, Logan Sapp, and Kylie Stojak, and though this is a brand-new sport for each one of us, we remain strong. There is an actual field for discus. Behind the tennis courts, in what East Lake High School calls the “practice fields,” for those of you who steered clear of athletics in high school, is where the discus field can be found. There is a concrete plate and a field with white lines in the grass, marking 60 ft, 70 ft, 80 ft, etc. The goal is to reach the 60 foot mark at least, which I can assure you, was not the case for Madi and me the first couple of weeks. However, we are making our way.

Now let’s discuss the actual discus. It is basically a heavy Frisbee, too large to wrap all of your fingers around but small enough to be thrown with a pretty large amount of force behind you. The actual weight of the discus differs for boys and girls, the boys’ being 4.4 pounds and 22 centimeters in diameter while the girls’ discus is 2.2 pounds and 18 centimeters in diameter. Let me just say, we are very thankful to be girls in this sport.

As of now, we have competed in three meets, one being an invitational. The invitational turned out great, girls discus coming in third place out of 8+ schools! Being that none of us had ever played this sport until about three weeks prior, we were pretty proud. However, this invitational was an opportunity to see the kind of competition that existed within our county and let me just say that discus is no joke. I think I may have witnessed a few future Olympians that day. Tuesday, February 21st was the meet against Palm Harbor University, one of our big rivals. They unfortunately took the W in discus; however, Jessica McGinnis came in second and I came in third. We still placed and we were thrilled. March 7th was our next meet against two schools, Dunedin and Mitchell! Mitchell blew everyone out of the water, with one of their players throwing over 100 feet! Let’s just say this wasn’t East Lake’s best day, but more practice is always helpful. Make sure to mark your calendars for March 21st! This will be the meet versus our biggest rivals in P County… the Tarpon Spongers! It also senior night, so make sure to come out and support! Finally, we end the season on April 13th with our districts meet.

If there are any juniors out there looking for an easy, laid back sport- discus is here for you. Coach Maisner is truly an amazing teacher and coach and makes the entire experience one to remember. If you aren’t an athletic individual, go out and support your East Lake discus throwers. Look beyond the track now when you hear about track and field. There is more to the sport than you could have ever imagined.

 

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