MIDDLEBURG - One is dangerously close to a top three medal for his event at the upcoming Class 3A track and field championships in Gainesville on Friday, the other is, well, supposed to go, have fun …
MIDDLEBURG - One is dangerously close to a top three medal for his event at the upcoming Class 3A track and field championships in Gainesville on Friday, the other is, well, supposed to go, have fun and experience a hopefully more than once in a lifetime achievement.
“It’s very hard for a freshman to go to a state track meet, but even harder, I think, for a freshman girl discus thrower to be good enough to advance to the meet because the event is so technical,” said long time Middleburg High track coach Bob Hume, now a private discus coach for Wyatt and Madison Underwood. “I think Wyatt can get a medal. I think Madison should go, have fun and just experience the atmosphere of a state championship level track meet. They are both very good.”
For the Underwoods, Wyatt, a junior, and Madison, a freshman, both discus throwers at Middleburg High School and both advancing last week from regions to the state championship, a sibling trip beyond a roller coaster ride to Disney is something both think is pretty darn cool.
“She was probably throwing a lot better than I was when I was her age and, of course, I got bigger and stronger and threw further as we grew,” said Wyatt Underwood, who advanced with a third place at the region 1-3A championships at 153’-5” while sister Madison advanced with a fourth place 114’-8” toss on her final attempt to make her first trip to the state meet. “She’ll start to grow, get stronger and improve very quickly.”
At the Underwood house, just off CR218 in Clay Hill, Barry Underwood, the assistant principal at Keystone Heights High School, can survey his kids practices from his kitchen window being he had a legit discus circle built on his spacious back yard.
“When the COVID hit and we had nowhere to go to train, we built our own discus circle,” said Underwood. “Even now, with football practice at the high school, Wyatt’s throws can reach the practice field on a good day and it is just too dangerous to practice there. So, we just come home.”
Wyatt and Madison shared a bit of the rivalry aspect of their relationship when it comes to discus, but noted that each wants the other to succeed.
“I watch her and she watches me and we share thoughts about the other one’s throws,” said Wyatt Underwood. “I get more nervous when she throws then when I throw.”
One thing Wyatt is trying to get sister Madison to incorporate into her throw is his gutwrenching screams during the throws.
“I do it all the time because it releases a lot of adrenaline when I get pumped up,” said Wyatt Underwood. “I’ve been trying to get her to do it, but not yet.”
According to Hume, a good vocal attack on the throw can add 10 feet.
“Everything just builds up inside and it has to go somewhere,” said Hume. “Weightlifters do it a lot, so it must do something.”
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