As track and field season progresses, junior throwers Drake Carlson '23 and Katie MacClary '23 continue to set the standard and set new records. Last week, Father Ryan hosted the Great Eight Invitational, a track and field meet that invites the top eight athletes of each event from all classifications in Middle Tennessee and gives them the chance to compete.
Drake Carlson entered the event with momentum after winning the Highland Games, Doug Hall Relays, and Metro City Championships in Discus and Shot Put this season. He proved his talents by throwing personal records and winning both events at the Great Eight! Drake's Discus throw measured 166-2, one foot away from a 10-year-old school record, and his Shot Put throw measured 56-2. Drake comes from a family of successful throwers and has been throwing since he was in early middle school. He uses his experience and skill to help younger athletes improve their performance and grow as throwers.
"When I think of Drake, I think of a young man with an immense amount of talent, while at the same time, an even greater amount of humbleness. It is a dream to coach a young man like Drake because he encompasses all of the characteristics of an extremely talented competitor while being the ultimate teammate," said Coach Scott Shaver.
Katie MacClary qualified to compete in the Girls Discus event with the opportunity to break Father Ryan's Discus School Record of 109-0, set by Ashley Binkley '01 in 1999. With only two years of experience in throwing, Katie has grown to be a top competitor in the state for Discus by claiming first place at the Highland Games and second place at the Doug Hall Relays and Metro City Championships this season. During the Great Eight, Katie broke the 23-year-old school record not once, but twice! Her final throw measured 111-6, and her name will be added to the board as the new Father Ryan Girls Discus Record Holder. Throughout this season, Katie has hit a new personal record at every meet, something that Coach Shaver has not seen in 25 years of coaching.
When reflecting on Katie's growth, Coach Shaver said, "Katie never misses a lifting session, which is extremely rare, and I think has a lot to do with her current success. I love coaching this kid. She is relentless, driven, powerful, and more importantly, she is very aware of what she does well and what she needs to work on. That is why she is among the top throwers in our state and a school record holder."
We look forward to following Drake and Katie's performance throughout the rest of the season as they represent Father Ryan. Go Irish!