East junior throws himself into quest for postseason honors

Rhett Myers had been waiting all season to uncork a big one.

The Columbus East junior finally did that last week, throwing 51 feet, 4½ inches in the shot put to add a Hoosier Hills Conference title to the one he had won earlier in the day in the discus.

The shot heave was Myers’ personal-best by 5 feet.

“We’ve been working on my balance a lot in practice, and I finally got it figured out and was able to do it in a meet this time,” Myers said.

Myers threw 147-5 in the discus, his best since throwing a personal-best 152-9 against Seymour earlier this season.

“(The HHC) was a good meet for me,” Myers said. “I had been struggling a little bit in the discus the past few meets, so it was good to get a good series in there. Then, the shot put, we’ve been working pretty hard in practice and finally got off a big one in a meet.”

East head boys track coach David Miller and throwing coach Jonathan Martin knew it was a matter of time before Myers launched some big throws.

“We definitely knew he was capable,” Miller said. “Coach Martin kind of changed his technique a little bit going into the meet, and he threw it well. We’re still waiting for him to hit his mark in the discus, and hopefully in the sectional, he can step up and throw what he is capable of.”

“He’s a very hard worker, and he’s methodical about his steps,” Martin said. “Whenever we see something wrong, he works at it and works to improve it, and that’s why he improves so much.”

Myers also plays football and basketball for the Olympians and is a Division I prospect as a tight end in football.

“The footwork is a big part of football, and it’s obviously a huge part of throwing,” Myers said. “Having more coordinated feet helps for football.”

“He’s a hard worker, and (football) coach (Bob) Gaddis and (basketball) coach (Brent) Chitty would probably say he’s one of the harder workers they have on their teams,” Miller said. “His hard work is starting to pay off.”

While Myers has made a big leap in the shot since last season, his best discus throw has gone up only 8 inches from the 152-1 he threw in last year’s HHC meet.

“The goal is always to improve every season,” Myers said. “This year, I haven’t improved as much as I would have liked to in the discus, so I hope I can improve my senior year.”

If Myers can repeat the distances he threw last week, he’s likely to finish in the top four in today’s Columbus North sectional and advance to next week’s Connersville Regional. A top-three regional finish would send him to the June 5 state finals.

“We have a really competitive sectional,” Myers said. “We have a lot of good throwers, so I’m looking to go in and compete. Our goal is to score points and move on.”

If you go

What: Columbus North boys track sectional

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Columbus North High School

Teams: Columbus East, Columbus North, Hauser, Edinburgh, Center Grove, Franklin, Greenwood, Greenwood Christian, Hauser, Indian Creek, Southwestern (Shelby), Waldron, Whiteland.

Advancement: Top four in each event and anyone else meeting the state-qualifying standard advance to the May 28 Connersville Regional.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.