by Scott Kindberg
May 20, 2001
CLARENCE – Sheldon Battle's record-setting spring reached yet another plateau Saturday.
For the second time in 48 hours, the Jamestown High School senior broke his own Western New York discus mark, this time with a whopping throw of 192 feet, 10 inches, earning himself the most outstanding athlete at the 27th annual Carl Roesch Memorial Track Classic at Clarence High School.
“I think he’s setting the bar so high,” Jamestown coach Greg Sherlock said.
Apparently the only one able to figuratively clear it is Battle.
In fact, yesterday’s throw is the 10th best in the nation according to Track and Field News.
Niklas Arrhenius of Oren, Utah, is the leader (234-3). He is followed by Kevin Bookout of Stroud, Okla., (215-0); Sean Shields of Arroyo Grande4, Calif., (209-2); Jonathan Reeves of Sugar Land, Texas, (203-6); Karl Erickson of Rochester, Minn., (201-7); Glenn DoGiogio of Bayonne, N.J., (198-5); Drrek Randall of Beeville, Texas, (195-0); Vikas Gowda of Frederick, Md., (194-9); and now, Battle.
It’s been quite a week for the defending state discus champion.
For it was on Thursday, at a dual meet at Lancaster, that he turned in a throw of 186-9, which eclipsed his previous best of 183-3 set last month.
On Saturday, he obliterated that standard, breaking the old Roesch Classic rec ord of 176-9 set in 1976. Battle’s next closest competitor had a throw of 144 feet.
“His warm-up throws were mammoth,” Sherlock said. “We knew if they were like in practice, he’d hit big ones and he did.”
Ironically, Battle fouled on his first two attempts in the preliminaries, meaning he needed a solid throw on his third, and final, try to move on to the finals.
“I just told him to power throw,” Sherlock said.
So to avoid the risk of a foul, Battle didn’t spin on his final preliminary try and still turned in a throw of 158-3.
“He would of won by 14 feet just doing that,” Sherlock said. “It was a flick of the arm.”
It landed him in the Western New York record book again and within sight of the state record of 198-10.
Battle didn’t claim a sweep in his specialties, however, as he finished second in the shot with a heave of 58-7 ½, his second best toss of his career – just shy of the first-place effort of Sweet Home’s Aaron Mitchell (59-5 ½).
“He and Aaron Mitchell will be battling for the next three weeks,” Sherlock said.
Next weekend, they’ll square off in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference championships, followed by the Section 6 championships at Strider Field on June 1-2, and the state championships in Long Island on June 8-9.