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5-2-2022 Lessons from the Rings - Regional Edition

“We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us – how we can take it, what to do with it – and that is what really counts in the end – that is the test of living.  

– Joseph Fort Newton 

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, Alex Medina, represented the Lytle Track team in the Regional Discus Competition. Last week we spent the week practicing as he was scheduled as the last thrower in the first flight of 8. In the Regional competition, the sixteen best qualifiers are divided into two flights of 8 for the first three throws. The top 8 remaining throwers get a chance to throw for the top three places. Alex entered as the ninth best thrower of sixteen. Due to the thrower from Rice also qualifying for Triple Jump, he and Alex switched flights. The day was a bit misty with very little wind. The best throw in the first flight was 135’7”, so I knew if Alex bested that throw, he would be in the finals. Last Thursday, on the last day of practice Alex had thrown a 146’ throw. I knew going in that if he did his best, he was one of the top four throwers in the Region. After the first round of throwing in Alex’s flight he was sitting third overall. Alex’s second throw of 137’5” qualified him for the finals. At Area, he finished 4th behind two throwers from Yoakum and one from Rice. One of the boys from Yoakum’s second throw was 137’1”. After two throws Alex was in 3rd place. After three preliminary throws Alex had the 4th best throw of 137’5”. A boy from Blanco’s third throw was 142’3”. The one boy from Yoakum who had won the Area Meet threw all three of his preliminary throws out of sector. He had thrown 151’ at his District Meet, yet his sector fouls removed him from the finals. Twice this boy had beaten Alex, once at Randolph and more recently at Area. Alex’s first throw of the finals got him closer to the boy from Blanco. He threw 141’9”. He was only six inches from a medal. After five throws Alex remained in 4th. Before Alex threw his last throw of the competition, I reminded him that his sister passed a girl and moved from 4th to 3rd in last year’s Regional competition. I told him to go and do the same. He had a lovely throw for his last throw this year. I knew it was far and it would hunt. The coach from Halletsville who ran the Area rings was running the Regional rings as well. He announced 142’11.5”. Alex was now in 3rd but he had to wait for the Blanco boy to throw. So, much like at the Area Meet he stepped up and put pressure on the other throwers. Blanco’s third throw only sailed to 126’8”. He now was secure in 3rd but the boy from Rice was still at Triple Jump. We had to wait for him to return. This Sophomore not only competed in the Triple Jump but later qualified for the State Meet in the 100M and 200M dash. He had thrown 139’6” at Area, so he could possibly throw big. His first throw was 110’ and he threw his second big but out of sector. As he let the last throw go it sailed up and outside of the right sector line securing the first Regional medal for a Lytle thrower.  

There are 224 competitors in the 14 individual track events. Only 42 medals are awarded at each Regional Meet to individual competitors. Since 2009, throwers for Lytle like Ezra Cadena, Armando Martinez, Cort Haltom and now Alex have made it to the Regional event. Last year was the first time a thrower scored a point for the team, placing 6th. This year Alex stepped into the leadership role of the Discus throwers for Lytle. He worked harder than any boy thrower I have ever coached, yet he is a different type of athlete. As the other discus throwers were warming up with high knee runs and stretches, I told Alex to go take a walk. He then came back and began to throw. If this year has taught me anything it is that next year is next year. Alex’s success is his and all those who support him. His parents provide him with the opportunity. He has great friends in Robert Lane Wagner and the support of the Wagner Clan. Mr. Bob is always so proud of Alex. Coach Escamilla’s support and trust in me allowed me to work with the throwers. I don’t see high school boy athletes often so his belief in the program filters quality boys my way. The season wraps up, the nets will come down and we finish the year with hope. Wishing Robert Lane the best success as he heads to State.  

“It has always been my belief that a man should do his best, regardless of how much he receives for his services, or the number of people he may be serving or the class of people served.”  

– Napoleon Hill 

Hadley Foster