The king of the ring
Williams wins shot; Palisade takes Woodburn title
As Cedaredge’s Austin Williams took his place in the shot-put circle Saturday, everyone from the spectators to the coaches to the competitors knew it was a battle for second place.
The only question was how far would Williams launch the 12-pound metal ball?
After fouling on his first two throws in the finals, Williams popped a personal record of 56 feet, 7½ inches.
“I just slowed down and tried to explode at the finish,” he said.
After his win by more than seven feet, the goal is now 60 feet.
“I just wanted to get consistently over 50, and now I want to get to 60,” he said. “I think there’s a lot more to the technique that I can still work on.”
His win in the shot put wrapped up the most dominating performance at the Frank Woodburn Invitational at Stocker Stadium.
Williams also won the discus by more than nine feet after a personal-record throw of 157-10. Palisade’s Leo Gallegos was second with a toss of 148-5.
Williams, a soft-spoken, humble junior, is 6-foot-2, 245 pounds and has seen a big jump in his distances this season. As a sophomore his PR was 51-8, but this season he changed to the spin technique.
“I was gliding as a freshman and sophomore, and I couldn’t finish real good, so I switched to the spin this year, and I can be really explosive at the end, so it’s helped a lot,” he said.
Williams has dominated the shot put all season, and has one of the best marks in the state regardless of classification.
In the boys team competition, Palisade used a strong overall effort to claim the title. The Bulldogs host the meet, which is in its 10th year and named after the school’s longtime coach and athletic director, but Palisade had never won the meet.
Even though the Bulldogs didn’t win a single event, they placed fourth or higher in 10 events.
One of their runner-up finishes came from Brandon Worley in the shot put. The senior’s 49-6 beat his previous best by 16 inches.
“I’m now just six inches from the school record,” he said. “I’ve been in a slump for like three meets, just hitting 45.”
Palisade coach Tim Reetz said the team title took an overall effort.
“I don’t know if we have any superstars, but we have a lot of great kids taking (high places), and that’s how you win team trophies,” he said.
Palisade had three jumpers surpass 20 feet in the long jump — Chance Jackson, Prescott Price and Jay Shuman — to place second, third and fourth, respectively.
The event was won by Paonia’s Taylor Walters, who had a leap of 21-2¾.
Grand Junction sophomore Brody Cupp is giving some thought to readjusting his goal for the 200 meters after winning with a PR time of 23.02.
“I was really excited (about the time),” he said after eclipsing his old PR of 23.29. “I’d like to get 23 flat or better. That’s a big goal for the season.”
Fruita Monument hurdler Jacob Hahn came up just short of joining Williams as a two-event winner at the meet. After winning the 110 hurdles, edging Shuman at the line, he couldn’t quite overtake Coal Ridge’s Andy Bowles in the 300 hurdles. Fruita’s Chuck Bisbee pulled away in the final lap to win the 3,200 with a time of 10:02.83.