The shot put and discus events aren’t the centers of attention at most high school track meets because they are contested outside the main arena due to space and safety considerations.
But on May 11, there was a buzz at Lower Richland High School Stadium because Bishop England muscleman Griffie Loy had the best put of the day in the shot and was now bearing down on the state record in the discus.
Loy was the Class AA state champion in both events in 2012. But now he was trying to accomplish one for the ages at the 2013 state track meet.
Loy began his windup, spun while keeping his balance and let loose with a discus throw that traveled 196 feet, six inches to break the state record by 111/2 feet. His effort was the fifth best in the country this spring.
His shot put wasn’t a record, but was still impressive. He had an effort of 57-1, which was more than two feet farther than any competitor that day.
Loy’s efforts earned him The Post and Courier’s male track and field performer of the year, and he heads up the All-Lowcountry team. Not bad for an athlete who didn’t compete in the events until his sophomore year.
“I think I am a good high school thrower, not a great one,” said Loy, who graduated earlier this month and will attend the U.S. Naval Academy. “I do like to perform under pressure. I did well at the state meet, but I have to get better if I want to achieve my goals.”
Loy hopes to compete in the 2016 Olympics even though he’s only thrown for three years. Most elite throwers reach their peak in their 30s, so Loy has time if he continues to work hard.
“To get there, I would have to go 70 feet in the shot and 220 feet in the discus,” Loy said. “I have to get stronger and improve my technique.”
It was a big year for local teams and individuals in track. Woodland won its third Class AA state championship with a close victory over Bishop England.
Woodland’s Juadon Chandler claimed the state title in the high jump to earn All-Lowcountry honors. He’s joined by teammates Christopher Gaddist (state champ in both hurdle events), Rameak Smith (long jump) and Michael Wamer (triple jump).
Summerville’s Davon Anderson won a state title for the third year in a row with a victory in the 110 hurdles. He also is All-Lowcountry in the 100-meter dash.
Bishop England has two other All-Lowcountry selections — DeAngelo Stephenson in the 200-meter dash and Christian Widenhouse in the 1,600-meter run.
Porter-Gaud’s Brent Demarest repeats in the 3,200 run. The rest of the All-Lowcountry team includes Ashley Ridge’s Devon Duncan (800 run), Goose Creek’s Deondre Daniels (400 dash) and Summerville’s Andrew Scholz (pole vault).
Woodland’s Harris Cabaniss is the coach of the year.