COLUMBUS — Socrates said it best when he said, “Know thyself.”
Wynford’s John Miller knows himself better than anyone and in Friday’s Division III state track and field meet, he wished he would have listened to himself more while competing in discus.
“I should have just listened to myself in warm-ups and stopped throwing,” he said. “Everything was going good. I had two warm-up throws, but I should have stopped after the one. … I usually throw two good warm-ups and then it’s usually downhill from there.”
Entering the state meet, Miller had the fifth-farthest qualifying throw of 158-9, but threw 127-9, faulted, and 127-4 on his three attempts in flight one on the big stage to finish 14th overall.
Despite not throwing his best distance of the year, Royals’ coach Brad Ruffener was pleased with how his season went, not only by his meet accomplishments, but by becoming a better student of discus.
“It’s great the fact that he learned so much about the sport,” Ruffener said. “We talked about he could almost help coach a lot of kids because he grew to understand it a lot. Like (Friday), just learning to stop. He didn’t stop when he thought he should have, but that’s a lesson he can help pass on to other people. I would love to see him help some younger kids learn to throw. He took a lot of ownership of the sport and that was fun for me to watch.”
Miller was able to reach the state meet by doing having nearly the same results at the Lancaster regional meet as he fouled on his first two attempts and threw 125-0 to earn the last finals position.
In the finals, he won the competition by throwing his best on his final attempt.
However, at the state meet, one does not often get those second chances.
Fellow North Central Conference thrower Adam Stuckert, of Colonel Crawford, won the Division III state meet by throwing the disc 171-7, while returning state runner-up Duke Taylor earned the same place Friday by tossing a 170-6. Dakota Vogt was not far behind after placing third with a 168-1. Entering with the second-farthest qualifying throw, New Middletown Springfield’s Stephen Lyons placed fifth (163-11).
“I’m proud of the season,” Miller said. “I’m just not proud of this moment right now.”
Miller also won the Bucyrus district with a distance of 155-6.
By improving throughout the season and taking ownership of the craft, Ruffener said Miller deserves all of the credit.
“He owned it. He did it. The success is all on him,” he said. “I’ll invite him back to work with the younger kids absolutely. He has a lot to offer.”
Discus: 1. Stuckert (Colonel Crawford), 171-7; 2. Taylor, 170-6; 3. Vogt (Columbus Grove), 168-1; 4. Cline (Reedsville Eastern), 165-8; 5. Lyons (New Middletown Springfield), 163-11; 6. Pop (Cortland Maplewood), 162-0; 7. Dunn (Chillicothe Southeastern), 161-7; 8. Rue (Ottoville), 154-5; 9. Spicer (Anna), 151-4; 10. Garber (Vanlue), 150-0; 11. Christian (Covington), 145-9; 12. Shumate (Spencerville), 141-9; 13. Rankin (Castalia Margaretta), 133-4; 14. Miller (Wynford), 127-9; 15. Curry (Youngstown Ursuline), 121-8; Dunlap (Antwerp), ND.
By PATRICK MASSARA