McKown focuses on discus record |

McKown focuses on discus record

On his first official throw of the season, Marshall McKown had just logged a distance of 157 feet, 7 inches that was good enough to assure him of victory in the boys discus during Saturday’s four-way track and field meet at the Big George Athletic Complex.

A look at the intensity on the Douglas High School senior’s face, however, revealed he was looking for much more than that.

Even though he didn’t achieve his goal to set a school record, McKown did go on to throw a first-place and personal record distance of 167-3 for the Tigers. Then again, the defending Division I Northern Region champion has some lofty aspirations for this spring that go beyond breaking the school record of 168-9 set by Joel Sharpe in 1993.

“All in all, I wanted the record but I have all season to do it, so I’m very happy with today’s performance,” McKown said. “My goal, I wanted to beat the record, but getting a six-foot p.r. was the second best thing I could do today.

“My original goal for this meet was to throw 170 and build from there, but 167 is pretty close to that,” he said, adding with a smile. “I’m very blessed to get to come out here and throw in my own home, so big thumbs up.”

McKown’s previous personal best came last year when he threw 161-1 at the region meet. He came back the following week to place third at the state meet in Las Vegas — and the goal this season to win gold when the state finals are held May 23-24 in Carson City.

On Saturday, he opened with that 157-7, followed by a 151-10. Then the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder unleashed his 167-3 in the third round — and his intense expression turned to one of excitement.

“C’mon … c’mon,” McKown said, clapping his hands twice after the distance was announced.

McKown’s throw in the fourth and final round was an equally impressive 166-7.

McKown was also within reach of the stadium record 178-4 set by Elko’s Zach Stetler in 2009. Stetler now throws for Brigham Young University.

McKown has thrown in the 170- and 180-foot range during practice the last three weeks, according to Kirk McKown, his father and coach.

“I’m very excited,” coach McKown said. “It’s good to see hard work pay off and this boy has been working hard ever since seventh grade. He’s got some high goals, but he’s thrown in the high 180s in practice in the last three weeks so these are attainable. It’s not far-fetched.”

Douglas went 1-2 in the competition, as senior Colton Waggoner threw 147-10 to capture second-place. The throw approached Waggoner’s personal record of 149-7 he set to place sixth at the 2013 state meet.

“Colton is coming along,” coach McCown said. “He’s only going to get better the more time he spends in the ring.”

Based on the 14-foot improvement he made in the discus last year, Waggoner appears to have a promising season ahead himself.

“He should be throwing in the 160s by the end of the year,” coach McKown said of Waggoner. “We’re looking forward to taking both of those guys back to the state meet.”