Greyhills senior expected to finish high at state
The only thing missing in Stran Beard’s resume is a state podium appearance.
Last year the then-Greyhills junior was two spots from earning that recognition as he placed sixth in the discus event.
Fast-forward 11 months, Beard is holding down the top spot among Division IV discus throwers with a 149-feet, 2-inch effort in his senior season. In the shot put, he’s posted the second best mark of 45-01.
“He’s going to be standing up there,” Greyhills coach Annette Hemstreet said of Beard. “He challenges himself every day and he’s really determined.”
The ninth-year coach says Beard is showing more discipline in his throws this year and it’s showing at every meet. In the six meets he’s competed in, she said Beard is always trying to set the benchmark. That mentality seems to work as he has swept his two events four times this season, including last Friday’s Mogollon Invitational.
“We’ve been to a lot of meets that had 3A schools there,” she said. “Stran goes out there wanting to be the person to beat. I think it helps him stay motivated.”
Beard said it’s nice to be at the top of his game and he credits his work ethic.
“I’ve worked real hard at it for the last four years,” he said. “We finally have a Navajo on top.”
Beard said the conditions were just right when he set the 149-plus mark in the discus event at the 4th Annual Small School Invite, which was held on March 9 at Mesa Community College, the site for next month’s state meet.
“That throw felt smooth,” he said. “My whole technique came together. I felt like nothing went wrong but, honestly, it felt like a short throw.”
That mark beat his previous best by almost 9 feet.
Last Friday, Beard was trying to get close to his PR but the weather wreaked havoc on the track meet as snow fell earlier in the day.
“I was planning to hit one today but my disc was too wet,” Beard said as his best throw reached 125-10. “I wish the weather was real nice today.”