Letting it all go

In a couple of months, Rhett Myers and Aaron Kruchten will head to different parts of the country to play college football.

But the Columbus East seniors aren’t taking it easy in the final spring of their high school careers. Myers, who will play at Air Force, is a returning state track and field qualifier in both in the shot put and discus, while Kruchten, who is headed to Carnegie Mellon, is a solid No. 2 shot and discus thrower for the Olympians.

Both throwers said they didn’t consider taking this spring off from athletics.

“I’ve been doing it since seventh grade, and I just really enjoy it,” Kruchten said. “This will probably be my last chance to throw.”

Myers had an even greater urge to throw this season. He finished 10th in the state finals in the discus — one spot away from earning a medal.

That finish didn’t sit well with Myers.

“Getting 10th in the state kind of left a sour taste in my mouth,” Myers said. “I wanted to come back and see if I could do better than I did last year.”

Last year, Myers threw a school record of 55 feet, 5 1/2 inches in the shot and put up a 161-4 in the discus. That discus throw is about two feet off the school record.

This year, Myers has thrown 51-1 and 156-4.

“We’re off to a good start, but I’m not quite back to where I was last year,” Myers said. “That’s the goal — to be there by the time conference and sectional comes so I’m throwing my best during the state tournament.”

Kruchten, meanwhile, has improved his discus best about three feet to 138-4. He threw over 49 feet in the shot last year but switched from a glide technique to a spin this year and has thrown 45-3.

East throwing coach Jonathan Martin said the spin is more conducive to Kruchten’s speed and strength in the ring.

“I’ve been struggling a little bit with that, but I think I’ll get better as the season goes on,” Kruchten said. “It’s coming along.”

Both Kruchten and Myers were two-way starters on the offensive and defensive lines for an East football team that went 11-1 and won the Hoosier Hills Conference title. They also were starters on offense in 2014, when the Olympians went 13-1 and won HHC and regional championships.

Myers, who plays basketball in the winter, also started at tight end as a sophomore for a football team that went 15-0 and captured the Class 4A state title.

“Those two gentlemen are a couple of the strongest guys in the school, and it shows when they come out here,” Martin said. “They’re very athletic, and they’re able to use that strength in a very athletic manner.”

Today, Myers and Kruchten will try to help lead East to a win against crosstown rival Columbus North. The Olympians will then have three more meets before the HHC May 12 at Jennings County and the sectional May 19 at Columbus North.

“We’re hoping by conference and sectional, that’s when we want to be peaking and throwing our best,” Martin said. “So we’re not worried right now. It’s only April, and that doesn’t happen until May.”

If you go

Crosstown Showdown

What: Columbus North vs. Columbus East boys and girls track and field

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Columbus East High School

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