COLUMBUS — Aaron Deaton was up for his second chance at a championship title in shot put at the OHSAA state track and field championships on Friday, June 3. When it was over, he emerged as the champion for the second time in two years, having won the event his junior season.
What looked like a tense event for spectators and coaches, was just another day for the senior. He seemed calm and collected during the event, but by no means was it a cakewalk for him.
He entered the event with only the fourth-best qualification distance. His turn was during the second flight of contestants, which allowed him to witness much of the competition from the first flight. His first throw was for 55 feet, 2 ¼ inches, which normally would win the contest anywhere else for Deaton, but his opponents were up to the challenge, placing him at third at the end of the first volley. He was behind Evan Pugh of Spencerville and Ryan Demaline of Liberty Central.
Surprisingly, the competition never seemed to equal or surpass their own best throws from the first. That’s when Deaton stepped up his game. His second throw was much better, at 57 feet, five inches, giving him the lead.
From there, Deaton led into the finals with eight other competitors, separated by only a few feet between them. During the final face-offs, he just got better and better with each throw, adding more and more distance for his competitors to catch up to. His fifth throw of the event, second in the final flight, was his best at 57 feet, 9 ¼ inches. The rest of the participants finished with distances shorter than their best throws in the preliminaries.
When it was all over, Deaton was a two-time champion.
“I just try to get in the ring and be calm and smooth, not get hyped up and not get too into my emotions,” he said.
“I just threw a little bit more and it’s all good. It’s definitely an honor to be with these athletes. They were the best in the state. I must thank my parents, my coaches, and Shane Wyka, just a lot of people who have built me up and I have to be thankful for. Hopefully discus will go as well, I have to keep myself calm and be relaxed. After all this, I don’t know what I will do — maybe go eat steak!”
“Not too bad of a day,” said boys’ track coach Richie Faber after all Twin Valley South athletes finished competing. “The biggest thing was to get Aaron back on shotput as champion and he did that, so it’s been a good day. The others had a rough go at it, but I hope they all gain the valuable experience in this and use it for next year.”
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or at Twitter @osanders_RH