CLOVIS – West Ranch’s Danny Bryant was only throwing with three fingers, but it was enough to get him fourth place in shot put at the CIF state finals at Buchanan High School on Saturday.
The senior sprained his left ring finger after his first throw in shot put at the CIF-Southern Section prelims on May 12. Since then, he’s only been able to use the thumb and first two fingers on his throwing hand.
It took a while for things to click with his new throwing style.
“(It took) probably until tonight because it’s the first time I threw over 55 with this injury,” Bryant said.
He tossed 59-00 feet for fourth place – just 10.75 inches away from third – at his first appearance at the state finals.
“I just tried to have fun because I wasn’t expecting to win,” said Bryant, who will be throwing at BYU in college, “but I was just trying to have fun and do the best I could.”
Hart’s CJ McMullen took sixth place in boys discus, throwing 180-10 on his first attempt.
At the beginning of the season, CJ McMullen was throwing 119 in discus. Today he threw 180-10 for sixth place at the CIF state finals. pic.twitter.com/O3BI1NGk61— Haley Sawyer (@haleymsawyer) June 3, 2018
The NAU commit was also experiencing his first state finals. After recording a measly throw of 119-10 at the first Foothill League meet of the season, McMullen is happy with his progress.
“This really raised my confidence because of the fact that I barely got here and so it’s really humbling to be here,” he said. “Just for my future in track, I think this had made me pretty confident, knowing I’m one of the better ones in the state.”
McMullen worked under the tutelage of Mike Torie throughout this season to become the only athlete from Hart to make it to the state level.
“I think it gets kids excited because maybe before CJ, a lot of kids weren’t thinking that there were throwers at Hart,” Torie said. “… and now hopefully its created a little bit of something there (for) future generations.”