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The Journal Gazette

  • File Churubusco senior Brayden Simmons is a two-time state qualifier and has higher expectations for himself. His personal-best discus throw ranks third in the state.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:00 am

Boys Track Sectional

Churubusco thrower still has plenty of work to do

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

Boys Track Sectional

Today

Plymouth, 5:30 p.m.: Bremen, Caston, Culver Academies, Culver Community, Manchester, North Miami, Plymouth, Rochester, Tippecanoe Valley, Triton, Whitko

Goshen, 5:30 p.m.: Bethany Christian, Columbia City, Concord, Elkhart Central, Elkhart Christian, Elkhart Memorial, Fairfield, Goshen, Jimtown, Lakeland Christian, Northridge, NorthWood, Warsaw, Wawasee

Angola, 5 p.m.: Angola, Central Noble, DeKalb, East Noble, Eastside, Fremont, Garrett, Hamilton, Lakeland, Prairie Heights, West Noble, Westview

North Side, 5:30 p.m.: Carroll, Churubusco, Bishop Dwenger, Blackhawk Christian, Concordia, Northrop, North Side, Snider, South Side, Lakewood Park, Leo, Woodlan

New Haven, 5 p.m.: Adams Central, Bellmont, Bishop Luers, Canterbury, Wayne, Heritage, Homestead, Huntington North, New Haven, Smith Academy, South Adams

Marion at Indiana Wesleyan, 5:30 p.m.: Alexandria, Blackford, Bluffton, Eastbrook, Elwood, Frankton, Marion, Mississinewa, Northfield, Norwell, Oak Hill, Southern Wells, Southwood, Wabash

Just getting to this year's state track and field championships won't be good enough for Churubusco senior Brayden Simmons.

The two-time state qualifier finished 13th at last year's state meet in discus with a throw of 151 feet, 11 inches. It came from his first throw as he fouled his second two and failed to make the finals.

That was after throwing a season-best 160-11 at the North Side Sectional, a result that would have landed him on the podium in Bloomington.

“ I'm setting the goal high,” Simmons said. “The last two years I've made it to state. ... I didn't throw the best that I could so I think coming into this year, my attitude is just, 'Let's do what I can do.'”

Some changes were made that have resulted in regular-season success as Simmons eyes today's North Side Sectional.

“I opted to not play basketball this year so I could come in injury free,” he said.

As a result, Simmons had a throw of 175-11 to break his previous personal best in discus by 10 feet. He said he also broke a personal record in the shot put by three inches.

“It's been a good season for me so far,” Simmons said.

His discus mark of 175-11, currently ranked third in the state's performance list, came April 27 at the Central Noble Invitational. He said he's since been scrutinizing his performance to fix the tiniest of details.

“We've been watching a lot of film,” he said, adding that he's looking at his eyes.

“I have pretty bad eyes coming out of the back,” Simmons said, “so it will actually over-rotate my body instead of driving straight in the ring. If I can hold my eyes longer, I'll drive straighter.

“I'm just repping in practice;just finding a focal point in the sector and just staring at it for maybe longer than what you'd think.”

Simmons is the latest in a long line of throwers at Churubusco under throws coach Todd Lortie that includes Heather Monk (class of 2012), Katie Monk (2014), Austin McClure (2013) and current teammate Garrett Horn.

“This year, it's been more focus on him, not about results,” head coach Zach Dock said. “Although he's very cognizant of what's going on, he knows where he's ranked in the state but not getting hung up on it. He wants to be the best he can be every day and that's been the difference.

“He's just concentrating every day on getting better. We think that will definitely help us in the big meets. So far it has. “

Simmons, who started throwing in sixth grade, also has gotten some tips from his mother, who threw in high school.

“ I was actually hoping to play baseball but ended up really loving track, and I was good at it,” he said. “In middle school, I wouldn't say it's a success because my technique was pretty awful. It was decent. High school, it's been a good experience.”

The balance between team and individual is what stands out most to Simmons when reflecting on his love of the sport.

“I just like that it's a team event, but it's really you,” he said. “I like to compare it to wrestling a lot. If your team wins, that's great, but if you have a bad performance but your other teammates can pick you up points, that's cool. But standing out in an individual event in track is just awesome. It's really a neat experience. “

Simmons signed with Oakland University where he wants to go into secondary education. His hopes are to return to Churubusco to teach math and coach football and track.

areichel@jg.net