by Jeff Moran
Best-Ever Throw Earns Battle All-American Status
Now, Battle can add High School All-American to his resume after his efforts at the Adidas Foot Locker Track & Field Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina over the weekend.
After a rain delay Saturday, the National Scholastic Sports Foundation event was to finish on Sunday morning with Battle poised to strike.
Strike he did with a new Section 6 record - breaking the mark he established earlier in the season – and a third place finish, throwing 193 feet 3 inches, eclipsing his own personal best record of 191 feet 10 inches.
The throw allowed Battle to claim a third place finish in the national meet, bestowed All-American honors on him and put him eighth in the all-time national record books for the discus.
There is a certain amount of satisfaction that should accompany such a feat, such a weekend of work and struggle. Satisfaction that anybody would be pleased with, but Battle isn’t just anybody.
“He kept talking about the one that got away, all the way home,” said Jamestown track coach Greg Sherlock. As evidence of his dedication and desire, on the plane ride home, Battle was still considering a better throw, a throw – well in excess of 197 feet – by Battle that did not stand because of a touch foul.
“He was thinking about that throw and what might have been.”
The winning throw of 199 feet 2 inches, by Vikas Gowda of Frederick, Md., broke a meet record. Gowda is well known to Battle, having competed against him last year at U.B Stadium in the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Nationals. Gowda will be attending North Carolina University in the fall.