Palisade’s Smith wins Class 4A state discus title

LAKEWOOD —­ Even after he’d won the discus in the Class 4A boys state track and field championships Saturday, Palisade’s Tanner Smith held to what his father, Tim Smith, had taught him.

“He just always told me to pay attention and be calm,” Tanner Smith said in an accordingly mellow tone. “A lot of times in competition, guys get all worked up and more worked up, and they go wrong, and then they’re in a six-foot hole, and it’s hard to get out of.”

Smith slung the discus 158 feet, 1 inch to win, followed by Greeley Central’s Kazim Mehhralyev, who threw 153-11.

“I just tried to stay calm,” Smith repeated. “I think it shows good sportsmanship.”

For Smith, a senior, it was his first state title. Smith said he has verbally committed to throw at Colorado Mesa University.

In the Class 5A shot put, Grand Junction’s CJ Deters, who plans to throw at Weber State University, placed second in the event and broke a school record that stood since 1967.

Deters had been practicing the entire season to break the record. And he did it on his final throw, which went 56 feet, 1.75 inches.

Jim Dusa had the prior school record of 55-11 7/8 inches.

Deters said Dusa sent him an email earlier in the season, saying he expected his record fall.

“He told me the history of throwers,” Deters said, “and he told me how he felt about the importance of it staying so long, and that it needs to come off by someone who worked hard and did it the right way.”

The wrong way, Deters said, would have been someone who, on talent alone, broke the school’s top mark without respect for the 45-year-old record.

Deters said he practiced shot put and lifted weights six days a week since football season. And although Fort Collins’ Jacob Hank won with a throw of 56-7.75, Deters couldn’t hide his enjoyment of attaining his goal.

“It was my last high school throw,” Deters said. “And I got it.”

Deters’ teammate, DeShaun Harris, placed fourth with a throw of 50-1.5. But Harris was more excited about Deters’ throw.

“When he let it go, I bent over, and I was grabbing and squeezing my pants,” said Harris, demonstrating that he was nervously pulling the thigh-portion of his warm-ups. “As soon as he hit the record, I was going crazy.”

Fort Collins won the boys 5A division with 74 points. Grand Junction was 12th with 23.

Fort Collins won despite Coach Conrad Crist disqualifying his top sprinter for the finals of the 800 relay. Crist said Ray Bozmans stuck his tongue out as he crossed the finish line as Fort Collins took first in the Thursday preliminary.

“It was an in-the-heat-of-the-moment decision,” Crist said of Bozmans’ conduct.

For Friday’s final, Crist “benched” Bozmans, who earlier this season set the all-classifications 100 dash record of 10.27. Fort Collins took ninth in the 800 relay.

“I just thought he crossed the line,” Crist said, “and that’s how we dealt with it.”

The ultimate act in sportsmanship took place after the 5A girls shot put.

Grandview’s Adaeze Obinnah came into the event with the farthest throw, but was injured on her first toss, placing third.

Rangeview’s Katie Pham, who won with a throw of 39-5.5, gave Obinnah her first-place medal after the awards were presented. She reportedly said she would not have won had Obinnah not been injured.

The act was announced over the loud speaker.

In Class 4A, Montrose High’s Abi Grace McGee, the only freshman of 16 event qualifiers for the 100 hurdles, placed sixth with a time of 15.50.


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