Williams breaks state shot put record, then again … then again

Published 9:57 am Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Davie High was the center of the track and field universe among North Carolina high schools last weekend as War Eagle Stadium was the site of three regional championships – including a dominating performance by the Davie shot-put expert, Spencer Williams.

At the request of the NCHSAA, Davie hosted the Midwest 1-A and 3-A meets on Friday due to the high quality of the Davie facility and the willingness of the administration and coaching staff to host.

Then on Saturday, Davie was the host site for the Midwest 4-A meet, and the 28 competing schools showed why this region is arguably the toughest in the state.    

The meet started under cloudy skies at 10 a.m. with several field events, including the boys discus.

Davie senior Williams easily dispatched the field with a throw of 189-2. That effort was just a few inches shy of his all-time best effort and was 12 feet clear of runner-up Denmar Chambers of Sun Valley. When the dust settled, the top four finishers in the event had marks among the top seven throws in the state this season.

Spencer’s brother, Palmer, a junior,  notched an eighth place finish and picked up a point in the team competition. His throw of 136-8 was a personal best.

S. Williams was just getting started, as the boys shot put was the next event of the morning session. Those in attendance witnessed the most dominating series of throws in state history. S. Williams has had his sights on the state record since the start of the season. After securing the junior class state record in the shot and discus the previous season, it was now time to rewrite the record books at the culmination of a historic career. The existing state record was held by Beddingfield’s  Alex Barron. His record setting throw of 63-6.5 was established in 1982, almost 40 years to the day of Saturday’s meet.

Williams wasted little time making history as he unleashed a new record throw of 63-10.5. But the magic was just getting started. On his next throw, the senior uncorked a heave of 64-10, adding another foot to the record. But the day just kept getting better. On his fourth effort, S. Williams nearly threw the 12 pound implement completely out of the sector. Incredibly, his throw was measured at 66-2.5. He had broken a 40-year-old state record by nearly three feet. Once again, Sun Valley’s Chambers had to settle for the silver medal. His throw of 61-7 was a big personal best effort and in most years would be good enough to claim a state championship. But this year he still finds himself five feet shy of the new all-time record-holder from Davie.

Davie was also represented in the throws by a pair of Lady War Eagles.  Junior Monica Long had a best throw of 32-10 in the shot to finish 11th. In the discus, classmate Gracie Wilson had a best effort of 93-10 to place 13th.

The first running event of the day was the 3200 meter relay. The Davie boys’ team came in as the 14th seed and just squeezed into the 16-team field. The War Eagle quartet turned in a season best time of 8:34 to place eighth. Junior Owen Sulecki led off with a personal best time of 2:04. Seniors Caleb Young and Reece Yount ran the next two legs as each ran 2:11 splits. Freshman Tyler Hill ran the anchor leg in a PR of 2:07 as the foursome grabbed a team point for their effort. Senior Andrew Brown was among 26 individuals who met the qualifying time standard in the 1600, so the premier distance event had a large number of 26 qualifiers. Brown recorded his second fastest time in the event to finish 11th in 4:35. He also met the automatic qualifying standard in the 3200 meter event but did not compete at that distance at regionals.

Senior Bryson Robinson, unfortunately, had a rough day at the high jump. Robinson elected to come into the competition at six feet but was not able to clear the bar on his three attempts. Robinson also qualified in the triple jump but did not compete in that event.

Sophomore Jaylan Clement-Greene qualified for the meet in both sprint events. In the 100 meters, Clement-Green placed 11th in the prelims with a time of 13.01 but did not advance to the final. In the 200 meters she also claimed 11th place in 27.07.

In the team competition, the Davie boys placed 11th with 22 points in a field of 28 schools. The girls team did not register any team points. Cuthbertson won both of the team competitions.

After the meet, coach Rob Raisbeck commented on the weekend’s events.

“First of all, we were very fortunate with the weather. Except for one brief shower on Friday, we stayed dry,” said Raisbeck. “We probably had close to 75 schools on our campus over the two days, and we want to thank all of the volunteers who made it possible. The booster club handled concessions and T-shirt sales. Coach (Tim) Devericks and coach (Perry) Long put in a lot of work with the facility. The custodial staff worked long hours keeping the stadium clean. We had security in place that thankfully we never needed. And we had a bunch of parents and our own athletes doing the little things needed to make the meets successful. Coach Sweet did a tremendous job as our meet director and starter and Coach Williams made sure the throws events ran flawlessly.

“Our competing athletes gave it their all after a long season. For Spencer to have such an epic performance at his home track was about as good as it gets. Now it’s off to the state meet Saturday at NC A&T. Hopefully we can bring home some more hardware and close out the season in style.”