PM’s Cook Wins Both Throwing Events, Sets State Meet Record In Discus

By: 
Jonathan Schwab
PM SENIOR K.J. Cook launches the discus at the Group 1A state meet on Friday at Spotswood High School. Cook's winning throw went 174 feet, 11 inches, a state meet record. (J. Schwab photo)

Saturday, June 3 – Parry McCluer High School senior thrower K.J. Cook went out the way he wanted to, winning both the discus and shot put at the Group 1A state track and field meet this weekend, and several other local athletes had all-state performances by placing in the top eight.

Cook’s discus throw of 174 feet, 11 inches broke the state meet record on Friday at Spotswood High School. The mark came on Cook’s fourth throw, his first of the finals. The previous meet record of 174-8 was set by Radford’s James Williams in 2014, when Cook was present to witness it as a freshman. Cook’s closest competition was Northampton’s Demitrius Trower, who placed second with a heave of 133-2.

The boys discus was the only event of the meet to take place at Spotswood, with the rest of the meet taking place nearby East Rockingham High School, and the choice was a wise one because East Rockingham’s facility has a chance fence approximately 165 feet from the throwing circle. The decision was made to move the location of the event after Cook threw a school-record 178-2.5 at the regional meet the week before.

Cook won the shot put with a toss of 55-2.5 on Saturday, just shy of the state meet record.

Last year, Cook won his first state discus title and placed second in the shot put.

Junior teammate Josh Fischer placed second in the shot put with a throw of 50-11.75 and also earned all-state honors in the discus by placing eighth with a heave of 122-1. Senior Jeremy Nelson placed fifth in the shot put (46-5.75) and came in 10th in the discus (119-5).

Sophomore Tristen Clark led the PM girls throwers, placing second in the shot put on Friday with a throw of 36-6, breaking her own school record of 35-2. The only thrower ahead of Clark was Auburn’s Leah Earnest, with a toss of 40-7.5.

In the girls discus on Saturday, PM junior Summer Snider placed fourth with a personal-record heave of 112-9.

For Rockbridge County High School in the Group 3A state meet on Friday at Harrisonburg, the girls 4 X 800-meter relay team earned all-state honors by placing eighth in 10:43.93. Team members were freshman Aili Waller, senior Tiffany Mohler and juniors Laura Smith and Kacie Shifflett.

In her outdoor state meet debut, coming off a broken foot, RC sophomore thrower Danielle Crawford placed 12th in the shot put with a toss of 32-8 on Saturday after finishing 13th in the discus (96 feet).

For full stories and photos from the state meets, with comments from the coaches and athletes and complete results for the Wildcats and Blues, please see our June 7 newspaper.

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