Battle Wins State Discus Crown
LIVERPOOL - Mission accomplished.
After more than five years of hard work and determination, Jamestown’s Sheldon Battle capped off his junior year with a New York State discus title on Friday at the state track & field championships.
Battle became the fourth athlete in Jamestown’s boys track to capture a state crown clinching the title with his toss of 176-feet 2.
“He throws well in big meets and he certainly threw well today,” Jamestown track coach Greg Sherlock said of Jamestown’s first state champion since David Hinson in 1995.
And Battle didn’t just beat the competition, he dominated them. His winning throw was 13 ½ feet better than the second place overall finisher, making the best in all classes.
“I felt pretty confident after trials that he had a real good shot of winning,” Sherlock said. “I’m just surprised that he won by so much.”
The 176-2 toss was not a personal best for Battle – his sectional throw of 176-6 resides in the Jamestown High School record books – but Friday his throw landed him atop the podium with a state championship.
“Coach (Jim) Painter and I were just elated,” Sherlock said of the reaction after Battle was declared the official winner. “Sheldon was just very reserved – real low key. That’s the way Sheldon is – like he expected that. I think he expected it, I really do.”
And to the dismay of other New York State discuss contenders, Battle is not done yet. The junior will be back next year to defend his title.
“Sheldon’s the one that deserves all the credit,” Sherlock said. “He’s the one that does the work in the weight room in the morning. His heart and soul is track and field.
Seeded third entering the competition, Battle set the stage early with a big throw to land him in the top position after the trials.
“I think it brought a lot of tension to the other kids in the state,’ Sherlock said of Battle grabbing the early edge. “I think Sheldon handled himself better than anyone else.
“Sheldon does his thing. He puts his head set on, he doesn’t know what anyone else is throwing. He was comfortable.”
That relaxed comfort Battle feels when he’s in the zone makes him the first discus champion in Jamestown’s history,
Also for the Red Raiders, Mark Hedberg finished third overall, and in Class A, in the long jump with a leap of 22-5 ¾ - seven inches behind the winner.
Jamestown’s 1,600 meter relay team of Hedberg, Peter Bumsted, Drew Poppleton and Andy Carlson ran its best time of the year with a 3:30.60, but failed to qualify for the finals.
Westfield’s Ashley Hamilton placed sixth overall in the Class C-D long jump surpassing the 15-foot mark.
Fredonia’s Jen Stuczynski holds the top spot after first day of the pentathlon. Tirana McDermott of Jamestown qualified in the No. 2 spot in both the 100 and 200 meters in Class A and Fredonia’s Jackie Berner made the Class B finals in the 100.
Brent Harkness failed to move on in the pole vault, but went over the 13 foot barrier, placing him in good position to place high in Class C-D while Randolph’s Danielle Green ran a 2-22 in the 800, but failed to qualify for the finals.
The state championships resume today with the finals of all remaining events.