Records are meant to be broken, and that’s exactly what happened for College of the Canyons thrower Jordan Palmer on Saturday at Riverside City College.
Palmer recorded a personal best in the men’s shot put at the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional Prelims with a throw of 16.02 meters (52 feet and 6 3/4 inches).
Not only was the mark a personal record, but it also earned Palmer the CCCAA SoCal championship. He defeated second-place finisher Blake Baloun of Saddleback College by more than three feet.
The 6-foot-2, 315-pound freshman now holds the No. 2 ranked throw in California, trailing only Brenden Coffey of Butte College in Oroville (16.35m, 53-7 3/4).
“Honestly when I threw that I was kind of surprised because I never threw over 50 yet at this level, so I was surprised and happy,” Palmer said. “Now I know that when it comes to competing with people that have the same marks as me it gets me more pumped up to want to throw farther. It was a great feeling, now that I have the second mark in the state I feel good going into state finals.
“My coach was screaming and everyone was yelling. My dad was just going crazy, it was great.”
The winning throw earned Palmer a spot in the CCCAA State Championships for shot put, but he will also vie for a state spot in the discus throw when he competes this Saturday at the CCCAA SoCal Championships.
“This week is for discus, right now I’m ranked in the top six, so I’m on the borderline of making it to state,” he said. “Right now I’m focusing on my release, staying inbounds, just putting more power into my throw because I know for sure I can throw farther than where I’m at right now, so I’m focusing on that.”
In addition to competing in track and field, Palmer is also the starting center for the COC football team.
Having played both sports since his high school days at Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks, he’s used to the grueling football workouts followed by throwing practice.
It can wear on his body sometimes, but it’s paying off for him both on the football field and in the throwing circle.
“My whole high school career I’ve been doing track and football, so I’m used to the grind. It kind of beats up my body, but it’s worth it. I’m trying to get a scholarship,” Palmer said. “Shot put does help with football because it makes you more explosive especially lifting-wise, getting off the ball, so I think it helps a lot.”
Palmer has been to a state finals competition before. He finished in the No. 17 spot in shot put as a senior in high school.
Now he’ll have another opportunity, and he is going to take full advantage of it as he contends for the top spot.
“I went to state for shot put in high school and that was a great experience, so now it’s another time to redeem myself,” he said. “Represent another school, it’s a great feeling.”
After COC, Palmer would like to continue his athletic career at the next level, playing football, track and field, or both.
He is staying patient as he looks to find the right school that will give him the opportunity to succeed on the playing field and in the classroom.
“I’m just waiting for a school that fits me,” he said. “Waiting for a school to give me an opportunity to show that I have the talent to perform academically and on the field or on the track.”
For now, what comes after his time at College of the Canyons will be on hold. This week and the week after are all about keeping his eye on the prize: winning the state title.
The CCCAA SoCal Regional Championships will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Riverside City College. Palmer will travel north to take part in the CCCAA State Championships at San Mateo College on May 17-18.