TACOMA - By the sound of Squalicum thrower Jarek Jensen's yell after he hurled a shot put toss of 54 feet, 11 inches during the Class 2A shot put finals, it was easy to tell it was a throw worthy of earning a state title.
After Jensen's toss made a divot in the ground well beyond the 50-foot chalk mark on the shot put sand, he let out a grisly yell in celebration as those watching applauded, awed by the distance of the throw.
Jensen's toss held up against the rest of the field, and the senior Storm thrower earned the state title he's been dreaming of claiming all season during the 2A-3A-4A Washington State Track and Field Championships Friday, May 25, at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
"I've just been working hard all season for this moment," said Jansen after he stepped down from his first-place spot on the podium. "My hands are still shaking."
Not only did Jensen make a state-winning throw, he also saved his personal-best mark for the very last meet of his Squalicum career.
Previously, Jensen's personal record was 53-05.00, but his toss of 54-11.00 edged his old top mark by 1 foot, 6 inches.
Jensen also continued to prove his will to compete. In 2011, he entered the state meet seeded 13th and ended with a throw good enough to earn a sixth-place finish. Jensen entered this year's state meet as the No. 2 seed, and edged out Pullman's Adam Mahama, who threw a mark of 54-00.00.
"Words can't describe how excited I am," Jensen said. "I don't know where my competitiveness comes from, but I knew it would be a battle today."
Jensen's state title, as well as Squalicum girls' thrower Gina Flint's state title, gave the Storm two state champions in the shot put on the same day.
"It's really exciting," said Flint about Jensen's state title. "We work together all the time at practice, and he pushes me to do better."
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.