PICKERINGTON — Recent Washington High School graduate Sterling Smith made it all the way to the Division II State track and field championships in the shot put.
Unlike in recent days, the weather Friday morning at Pickerington North High School was warm with still a continuing cloud cover, but no rain.
The event began promptly at 10 a.m. with a total of 18 competitors divided into two flights.
Smith was in the first flight and had a best throw of 49’ 5 1/4”.
Unfortunately, that was not enough to qualify to the finals. Smith placed 14th in the event.
The Chillicothe Regional champion, Lane Graham of West Holmes, won the Division II State shot put title with a throw of 59’ 9 1/4”.
The top nine throwers went 53 feet and beyond.
Smith spoke with the Record-Herald after his three throws.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Smith said. “I should have thrown further. I just didn’t have it today.
“It came down to form and energy,” Smith said. “All that kind of stuff. I just didn’t have it today.
“I had a great season,” Smith said. “It was fun. Even though COVID was around, it was really fun. I threw my best this year.”
Smith’s best throw was 52’ 8” that he achieved in the meet at Centerville High School.
“I want to thank Coach (Louis) Reid, Coach (Tim) Walters, Coach (Chip) Wilt, everybody that helps me out there,” Smith said. “I’ve had a lot of coaches over the years and they always stick around and help me.”
“Unfortunately, technique kind of failed him today,” Washington High School boys head coach Tim Walters said. “I don’t know whether he was just too anxious to get the shot out of his hand…everything we need to throw a good shot didn’t happen.
“The grounding of the left leg, the shoulder rotation was way ahead of where it should have been,” Walters said. “I think he was nervous. It’s hard to tell with Sterling, he’s just so even keel about everything, except fishing. He gets passionate about fishing.
“It’s hard to tell, but, I think down inside he was nervous,” Walters said. “He was anxious to put the shot, and he wasn’t anxious about hitting the positions to really put the shot.”
Walters spoke about Smith’s senior season.
“He only lost one clear up through Regionals,” Walters said. “At the Regionals he was fourth, so, (he had) a great season; a great career.
“Obviously, we missed (being able to have a season) last year,” Walters said. “That would have helped us a lot.
“We’re looking to the future with our program and our kids,” Walters said. “We’re going to continue to work hard to build a good throws group. We have a good nucleus of young athletes. If we can get the commitment out of them, we’ll rebound and come back here again.”