The javelin throw of a lifetime has catapulted Central Kitsap senior Roderick Schenk into the national spotlight, one of three state track champions who represent the Central Kitsap School District.
It was hard to ignore the competition Schenk was facing in the boys 3A javelin. Yelm’s Brayden Platt has been considered one of Washington’s best overall athletes, and it’s easy to see why given his football build destined for NCAA competition, along with his top marks in shot put and discus.
Despite lower javelin marks consistently this season, Platt set a high standard with his first throw of 209 feet, 10 inches. It was then Schenk’s job to ignore the pressure, CK’s throws coach Bill Braun said.
“He has greatly improved in the mental aspect of the sport, and he didn’t let Platt’s initial throw affect him,” Braun said. “In fact, he looked where the official made the mark for Platt’s throw and told himself he could beat that.”
Schenk stepped up for his first throw and released the best javelin toss of his life. The official called out 219 feet, 1 inch, and the crowd at Mount Tahoma High School went crazy.
Schenk described the moment as “probably the most high on Cloud 9 I’ve ever been. All of the worry and frustration I’ve had while chasing after a throw like that was suddenly vanquished, and I could finally feel peace knowing I had finally done exactly what I have been trying to do for my entire high school career.”
Platt’s best throw was 216 feet so Schenk earned both a championship and a lasting legacy as the state meet record holder as his throw shattered the previous mark of 216 feet, 3 inches.
“The state champion title is something I’ve always dreamt of, so to actually have it now is surreal to say the least,” he said. “All I can really say is that it feels like a dream.”
Head coach Neal Gaulden added: “I was excited for Rod to not only break the record, but to do it in the fashion he said he would. He told me he was going to break the school record with his first throw on Thursday, and he crushed it.”
2 more champs
The other two state champions from Olympic were on the girls team. Senior Sara Leasiolagi won her title in the discus. She did not quite reach her personal best of 119 feet, 10 inches from the previous week, but her throw of 116 feet, 10 inches proved to be enough to win the crown.
Like Schenk, she got her championship mark on her first throw of the day. She tried to beat that mark, but scratched four of her final five throws in an all-out attempt to extend the distance.
Senior N’Dya Hudson was the other state champion, earning her gold in the 200-meter dash. She finished in 25.9 seconds in the preliminaries, then shaved off 3/100ths of a second in the final to secure the first-place spot and a new personal best.
Hudson would also place fifth in the 100-meter dash and seventh with her teammates in the 4×200-meter relay. Her packed schedule also included the 4×100 relay.