Tahlequah Daily Press


April 5, 2013

Devoted to discus

Tahlequah's Sylas Sloan has ditched shotput and focused all of his attention on discus during his senior season.

Sylas Sloan had been waiting all winter for the Jenks track meet. It marked the beginning of his final track season at Tahlequah High School.

But when March 15 rolled around, Sloan had to sit out while his teammates competed and finished fifth at Jenks.

Sloan ended up being nothing more than a spectator after injuring his back while working out. Luckily for him, though, the Jenks meet was the only one before Tahlequah went on spring break.

During the weeklong hiatus, Sloan spent that time taking relaxing to the next level.

“I was just sitting around in California,” he said. “It was nice. I was Los Angeles. Venice Beach. It was a lot better than being here while it was snowing and raining.”

That time off must have paid dividends.

Sloan returned to top form last week when he unleashed a throw of 143 feet, 4 inches to win the discus title at the Claremore meet.

“I just went out there and practice hard,” he said, “and threw my best.”

This year all of Sloan’s practice time has been spent in the discus circle, after he opted to strip himself of shotput duties. The decision to do that dawned on him last year at the state meet.

“I realized when I got to state that I’m very underqualified,” Sloan said. “I’m good in this area, but when I got to state those guys could blow me out of the water.”

By shedding shotput, Sloan has had ample time improve his discus skills.

“I’ve dedicated myself more to the sport. I went to a couple of throwing camps and learned some new tricks,” Sloan said. “I got a lot of the bad habits I used to have out of the way. I’m improving a lot.”

Sloan will attempt to claim his second straight discus crown at today’s Reasors Track Classic at Tahlequah High School.

“I love throwing against competition,” Sloan said. “And several of my teammates can throw good, too. So when they do that, it makes me want to throw even farther and be a leader.”

As always, the Tahlequah meet will showcase some of the best talent from all of northeast Oklahoma.

“It’s always one of the toughest meets in the area,” Tahlequah coach Bart Frank said. “We’ve got all the big (schools) coming in: Broken Arrow, Jenks, Union, Owasso, Sapulpa, Bartlesville and Coweta. 5A-wise, Coweta has been pretty strong this year.”

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