The Post-Journal

Hard Work Takes Battle To Discus Crown

Sheldon Battle stood on the podium a mere foot taller than the second place finisher.As he stood waiting to receive his medal as New York State discus champion, the podium only placed him one foot better than the rest.

But, on that day at least, the Jamestown junior was more than 13 feet better then second place finisher as every other discus thrower in the state failed to out-throw Battle, who rose to the occasion.

It was a little wet and overcast in Liverpool that day, but, unlike his counterparts, Battle was unaffected by the inclement weather as he tossed the discus 176-feet-2-inches to win the overall discus championship.

Jamestown boys track coach Greg Sherlock knew Battle would bring his best to the state meet, just as he had to every other big meet throughout the season.

“Sheldon is about as good as you’re going to get in the big meets.” He said prior to states. “He looks forward to those events.”

And all the sweat and hard work that Battle had put forth through the season and off season, in practices and in the weight room was paid back in glory by winning the state championship.

Ever since competing in a middle school track meet six years ago Battle has put his heart into track and field. He broke both the shot put and discus records at Jamestown High School throwing 176-6 in the discus and 55-5-3/4 in the shot put.

Before he throws at a meet Battle can found calmly pacing back and forth with his headset on, listening to music and getting his focus. Then, when he gets into the throwing circle – unaware of what his opponents before him did – he clears his head and puts up a throw that makes most of his competitors jealous while the others drop their jaws in awe of his talent.

“I’m just trying to get everything out of my mind.” Battle said of his pre-throw preparation.

“I just listen to my Walkman and try to clear my head – just go in there and do what I’ve got to do, “ he said after the Jamestown Track Classic in May where he was named the Men’s Field MVP for winning the shot put and discus.

Back then Battle said he planned on going to states and winning either the shot or the discus.

“I want to go to states and win in either the shot or the discus,” he said. “I probably have a better shot in the discus.”

He was right.

The discus was where he dominated.

No doubt those early-morning hours in the weight room and extra tosses at practice were worth it.

“He gets better as he throws,” Sherlock said prior to the state meet. “He’s been throwing the disc for many, many years. He knows how to prepare himself. He listens to his own music, he gets into his own little zone and does what he has to do.”

And that little zone that Sherlock speaks of is where every other discus thrower in the state wishes he could be, but there’s only room enough for one there and to the dismay of his counterparts, Battle is only a junior.

For the hours of pumping iron, for the dozens of extra throws after practice and for the 13-foot victory at the state championships, Battle earned the right to be called The Post Journal Boys Athlete of the Year.

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