Martinus Mitchell is beginning to make a habit of breaking the Collinsville High School shot put record, and being named The Metro Independent Athlete of the Week.
At the Collinsville Invitational Saturday, Mitchell ensured he added some drama to the day. After throwing over 62 feet in practice during the week, Mitchell’s best mark on the day was 59-11 as he prepared for his final throw.
When CHS Assistant Track Coach Chad Burgess was asked if he would be satisfied if Mitchell did not break the 60-foot barrier he and the coaches expected, Burgess hesitated.
“Well, 59-11 is tied for his PR (personal record), but…” Burgess said, then thought for a minute. “He does like to save his best for last, though.”
True to his coach’s words, Mitchell launched his final throw 60-02.5, to break his own school record and easily win the meet. The throw was good for 32nd best in the country this year.
For good measure, Mitchell grabbed a discus a few minutes later and launched it 166-04, good for a PR and third best for the meet. Teammate Harry Uyehara won the event with a throw of 167-11.
After throwing the shot 60-10 inches on March 22 at an indoor event in Charleston, Mitchell set his sights on the outdoor record of 57-5 ¾, set in 1971 by Bernard Birger, who came out to meet the new record holder Saturday. Mitchell set the new Kahok standard on April 18 with a throw of 58-01. He then broke his own record on April 29 with the heave of 59-11.
Mitchell’s goal for the season is 62-feet, he said. Burgess said Mitchell is in a good position to reach his goal, throwing on surfaces he favors more in Alton Tuesday and at the Sectional meet in Edwardsville in two weeks.
Mitchell will attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the fall to major in business and marketing, and to continue his shot put career.