Hunter Campbell’s first ever throw at OFSAA wasn’t what he had hoped but it didn’t stop him from placing in the top five across the province.
The Grade 9 LCCVI student faulted on his first discus throw enroute to place fourth in the Men’s Novice Discus Throw.
“I was not going to let it get me down,” said Campbell, as he described the feeling he had after he faulted on his first throw at the OFSAA Track and Field Championship in Toronto June 4.
This was especially difficult because he had to wait for the other 23 competitors to throw before he got his next chance.
“I did something I should never do,” Campbell said, as he looked down at his feet during his second throw to make sure he didn’t over rotate. That throw was 40.42 metres and was good enough to put him into the next round as the field was cut to the top eight throwers.
He then threw three more times improving each time, 42.43 metres, 42.68 metres and the final throw and his personal best, 43.02 metres. He was in third place at one point but moved down to fourth as others bested his mark late in the competition.
Campbell’s win very special for LCCVI’s discus coach. The coach happens to be Hunter’s dad, long time track coach and history teacher Joel Campbell. He was proud of the teen’s accomplishment. “Getting out of the West Regionals is very hard, “ said Joel who has coached at LCCVI for the past 16 years. “You have to have a lot of focus.”
This is the first year Hunter has competed in discus. He started to train for the sport last summer. He started to throw once or twice a week all summer then practiced again in April as the track and field season approached.
Joel stressed Hunter was motivated to learn and was always the one who asked to practice. And there was a team approach to Hunter’s training, as discus throwers Joe and Brendan Wilson also had a hand in his development.
Joel coached Brendan in his first year of coaching at LCCVI in 2005 and Joe gave some of Joel’s first training as a coach. “I can’t thank them enough,” said Hunter of the Wilson’s, saying it was a big deal for them to be involved.
Hunter will be taking his weight training more seriously, as he has an eye already on next year’s season. He noticed many of his opponents were much bigger than him at OFSAA.
He will be a member of Sarnia Athletics Southwest Track and Field Club where he will continue his training over the summer. He hopes to take up shot put and javelin as well.
It will still be a few years away, but competing for a Canadian or American university is a goal. “It would be a dream to get to that level, ” said Hunter.
But for now, Hunter and his coach are happy with this year’s results.
“It is nice to know that I am the fourth best novice discus thrower in the province right now,” said Hunter.