Bellingham thrower Jakob Chamberlin was the big favorite heading into the Class 2A boys’ discus championships. He had a personal best nearly 17 feet better than the next closest competitor.
Still, there was no denying the nerves of the junior Saturday morning.
“With throwing, it’s really anyone’s game. It depends on how you’re feeling that day,” Chamberlin said, “and I was nervous this morning. I woke up and I was pretty nervous. I’ve never been here at state before in the discus and I wanted to win. I wanted the record.”
Chamberlin had to calm down first, and with the help of his coach and family, who he said was the reason he keeps going in the sport, he did.
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After his first throw of 152 feet, 6 inches, Chamberlin was plenty settled. His next throw proved it.
The second throw went 172-05, far enough for the school record and easily enough for the title.
“It felt really good out at the back of the ring. All the way through the throw, it felt very powerful,” Chamberlin said. “In the finish, it was just very powerful. The whole thing was fast; I sped up the whole thing. It just felt great.”
It topped his previous personal best by more than two feet.
Aside from a healthy breakfast, Chamberlin said, what also helped ease his nerves was Friday’s performance in the javelin. He took fifth place and set a personal record.
“It was good to be able to feel that pressure placed on you,” Chamberlin said. “It was good to have a little bit of confidence with my PR in javelin yesterday, good to have that confidence today.”
Chamberlin fouled three of his last four throws of the competition, but it didn’t matter because the junior had already secured the win.
“It feels really great. A lot of hard work paid off,” Chamberlin said. “The whole season has been a family ordeal. They’ve helped me stay relaxed as well, just saying, ‘Jake calm down; don’t get ahead of yourself.’ It feels really good to know that I won it for my faily and for my school.”
But Chamberlin was quick to say he wasn’t done just yet. He wants to keep rising higher, which will mean topping his record yet again next season.
“It helps; it certainly does help me,” Chamberlin said of his title. “But I feel that something better than a title is just more practice, hitting the weight room hard and just getting my form down more. ... I just want to do that bigger next year and just keep improving overall.”
Maybe, just maybe, he can top Sehome’s Ryan McDonald’s 2010 state meet record of 180-03.
But only time will tell.