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Track: Golden finish – Northwest senior captures discus title

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, May 13, 2017
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Top Toss 2

Coach Bobby Allison hugs McDonald after the senior’s gold-medal finish. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Caden McDonald set the bar high entering high school, dreaming of winning a state gold medal.

The Northwest senior made the dream come true Friday with a dominating performance in the 5A discus at the University Interscholastic League track and field championships at Mike Myers Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin.

TOP TOSS – Caden McDonald launches the discus on his way to a state title Friday in Austin. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

McDonald landed the top four throws of the day, including the title-winning toss of 190-6 feet on his third attempt in winning the gold medal. He won the title by 9 feet.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” McDonald said. “I put so many hours into this. To know all the hard work to reach this goal paid off is an unbelievable feeling.”

After receiving his gold medal, a smiling McDonald donned a Palo Duro hat, where his late grandfather was a track coach.

“He would’ve loved to be here and see this,” McDonald said.

McDonald finished fifth in 2016 in the 6A discus with a throw of 187-2. The experience left the San Diego St. football signee and Northwest record holder in tackles hungry for more this year. It also calmed his nerves going into this year’s finals.

“Being here last year helped a lot,” McDonald said. “I knew the environment with all the announcements and such.”

On his first throw, McDonald set a mark that none of his competitors could reach at 184-10.

“I was actually shocked,” he said. “I wasn’t really pulling that hard. I was just trying to get a mark. It landed at 184, and I kept rolling after that.”

With a 14-foot lead after the first round, McDonald increased the best mark by a foot to 185-10 on his second attempt before clearing 190 on his third throw.

“I put everything together. I was dragging my arm like we worked on all week in practice,” McDonald said. “I knew once it came off, it was a great throw and potentially won the state championship.”

With the lead heading into finals, McDonald waited and watched as competitors failed to reach his mark.

“I was nervous. I knew Thomas [Wilson] and Earnest [Brown] were capable of popping a throw out there,” McDonald said.

When Wilson’s final throw fell at 181-6, McDonald could celebrate the title. With the gold in hand, he landed a toss of 182-10 as a victory lap.

“It means everything to me. I give all my glory to God. Without Him, I couldn’t be here right now,” McDonald said. “Without Him, He wouldn’t have put me in this situation and given me the abilities to perform the way I did. It’s an awesome feeling. There’s nothing that tops it.”

5A BOYS DISCUS

1. Caden McDonald, Northwest, 190-6; 2. Thomas Wilson, Denton Ryan, 181-6; 3. Earnest Brown, Denton Ryan, 169-2; 4. Carlos Tijerina, Eagle Pass Winn, 168-5; 5. Aiden Vennard, Waller, 158-4; 6. Robert Gonzalez, Corpus Christi King, 154-8

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