Kaden, our 13-year-old 7th grade grandson, was on the Shenandoah Middle School track & field team this spring.
Each track meet, he seemed to be in different running events...the 4x400 m relay...
...and the 800 m run, for which he had one of the best times on his team.
During the conference meet toward the end of his season, Kaden pulled a muscle in his lower leg and after that (despite his desire and pleas to race again) the coaches did not enter him in the 800m for his final meets.
So Kaden concentrated on his field event, the discus throw.
Earlier in the season, Kaden was also throwing the shot put.
Gramaw, a former shot putter myself back in the infancy of girls' sports in Indiana, was proud. Of course, Gramaw is ALWAYS PROUD of her Kado!
Kaden did okay in that event, but there were other shot putters on the team that also did well.
So by the end of the season, the county meet, Kaden was focused on the discus throw.
Warming up before the competition...
This spring's track weather was not the best...lots more wintry days that spring-like days. Hard on the athletes and especially their grandparents!
Each meet he kept improving his technique and distance little by little, until he was throwing the discus in the low-80s feet range. Going into the county meet, I think his personal best was just over 83 feet.
I do believe Kaden has surpassed Momma Dana in height. Although I always told my children that no matter how tall they got, they always had to look UP to their mama!
And it paid off!
On his very first throw (they get 3 attempts), everything came together...his timing, technique, aim, and strength...and he heaved the discus 96 feet!!! That is 13 feet longer than any throw he's ever made! Gramaw even wondered if an unseen angel was riding on that disc and gave it a little extra heavenly lift!
We all knew it was obviously a great throw. Kaden's eyes popped out of his head when the measurement was announced. 96 feet!!! Wow!!! Then a big smile broke out across his face. It was a moment I will not forget, and we all shared in his triumph. What started out as a disappointing day ended up being the best day of Kaden's track career!
photo Dana Gray
And the evening was capped off with a team celebration as the Shenandoah Raiders Middle School Boys were crowned as County Champions for 2023.
(Kaden is in the back, sticking out his tongue and holding someone on his shoulders...)
A wonderful way to end his 7th-grade sports season...
...as a top thrower.