Douglas junior Marshall McKown is certainly off to a strong start to the year.
McKown broke the 27-year old school record in the shot put Saturday afternoon at Spanish Springs, turning in a throw of 49 feet, 8.5 inches to win the event.
“He did really well,” Douglas coach Jim Abbott said. “He is looking awesome so far. His form looks great and he’s worked very hard to get to where he is.”
The 49-8.5 was more than a foot better than the previous record, set by Chris Fletchall in 1985.
McKown had surpassed the mark during the preseason at an all-comers meet on Feb. 9, throwing 50 feet, 5 inches, but cemented his name in the school record books with his performance over the weekend.
Also Saturday, McKown posted the top distance in the state in the discus this year, throwing 157 feet, 10 inches. The marked bettered his previous best by 16 feet.
McKown wasn’t Douglas’ only record-breaker on the day.
Sophomore Olivia Abbott broke the Spanish Springs stadium record in the triple jump, winning the event with a jump of 35 feet, 2.5 inches. Abbott also won the 200 with a time of 27.2.
Other victors for Douglas on Saturday included sophomore Lindsey Adams winning the 800 in 2:27.5, the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 girls relay squads sweeping their respective races, the boys 4x100 winning its race by a full second, and junior Joey Swisher turning in a PR in the triple jump with a distance of 39 feet, 11 inches.
Shawnee McFadden won the high jump with a leap of 4-8 while Darby Mattinson and Carrina Bell each cleared 4-4. Molly O’Farrell won the pole vault at 8 feet, followed by McFadden at 7-6
Ian Isherwood (9-0), Ben Cochran (8-6), Nick Abreu (8-6), Grant Dunkelman (7-6), Jake Evans (7-6), Dylan Pfaffenberger (7-6) and Thomas Reed (7-6) swept the top eight places in the pole vault on the boys’ side.
“We’re young in the pole vault, but there are a lot of kids out there,” Abbott said. “We were young five years ago and that worked out OK (referring to school-record breakers and state champions Nick Maestretti and Amanda Brazeau, who both graduated last year). It’s just a matter of seeing who steps up over the next few seasons with them.”
Freshman Maddy Lowe took second in the 100 hurdles (17.56) and finished third in the 300 hurdles (51.16). Morgan Weston was third in the shot put (30-7.25) and fourth in the discus (89-11). Darby Mattinson finished second in the long jump with a jump of 14-9. Adams also finished second in the 1,600 at 5:28.7.
On the boys’ side, junior Cameron Scholes finished third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 47 seconds, Nick Abreu took third in the 100 with a time of 11.35 seconds. Brandon Pankey was third in the 1,600 at 5:04.5. Tay Simms took third in the shot put with a 38-11.5 and Colton Waggoner was third in the discus at 124-7.
Douglas junior Brandon Harmon cleared 5-6 in the high jump, as did senior Cole Melhus, who is coming back from reconstructive knee surgery during football season.
“I’ve been really impressed with what Cole has been able to do this year,” Abbott said. “The amount of rehab he had to take on and to be jumping like he is this early in the season is really a testament to his work ethic. That was a pretty impressive height and he’ll only get better.”
On the whole, Douglas is working with a large roster (110 athletes) made up mostly of freshmen.
“We have a huge number of freshmen,” Abbott said. “We’re back to being extremely young again, but there is a lot of potential there.
“That being said, there is a lot of quality with our returning kids. We’re still figuring out spots here and there, trying to find good fits with the relays, but we’re very pleased with the work everyone has put in and the potential we see out there.”