Shot-putter out-throws competition by 18 feet

MESA, Ariz.

He will go down as one of Arizona’s best throwers, and he out-threw his nearest competitor in the shot put by 18 feet.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Goodyear Desert Edge senior Tyson Jones gets ready to throw the discus during the Arizona Division II state track meet on Saturday. Jones captured gold in both the discus and shot put during the Arizona Division II state track meet.

Goodyear Desert Edge senior Tyson Jones captured two more state titles at last week’s Division II state track meet in dominant fashion.

Jones, a Diné with roots in the Fort Defiance area, won the shot put with a throw of 68 feet, 10.50 inches last Wednesday at Mesa Community College.

“Technically it was a good day,” said Jones, who signed with Virginia Tech last fall.

Jones set the Arizona all-time high school throwing record of 70-06 at the Westside Invitational on April 7. Phoenix North’s Dallas Long, who eventually earned a gold medal during the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics, set the previous record of 69-03 in 1958.

At the state meet, Jones was hoping to reach that mark but he could not get the 12-pound shot out there.

“The technique was there but not the power,” he said.

On Saturday he topped out at 177-06 in the discus event for his third state title. He did that on his first of six throws and for the remainder of his efforts he intentionally scratched, knowing that he couldn’t get the 1.6-kg disc beyond his first throw.

“I was more into my shot-put mode,” he said. “I was kind of out of rhythm and it messed me up in the ring throwing so I couldn’t get any clean throws.”

Earlier last month he set a PR of 196-06 at the Agua Fria District meet.

All told, Jones made the podium seven times at the state meet since his freshman year, which includes five state titles with three coming in the discus event.

“He’s a very talented and gifted kid,” said Erik Johnson, Tyson’s professional coach. “I started working with him his sophomore year and the first time I saw him was at one of our camps and I told myself that this is kid is going to be my next 70-foot shot-putter.”

Johnson said Jones has gone over that mark two times and he’s hoping that he can rewrite the state record at today’s Meet of Champions.

“He’s got one last shot at setting a new AIA record,” he said. “He’s fouled over 72 feet at a couple of meets and we’re figuring he can go over 73 feet this year.”

Johnson said there are about 30 kids nationwide that have thrown over 70 feet in the shot put since they started recording these figures.

“If you think about it there are tens of thousands of throwers in the last 30, 40 years and he’s in a very elite club,” Johnson said of Jones. “That’s pretty significant.”

His dad, Tony Jones, added that what Tyson has done is unheard of.

“Nobody in the country is doing that,” he said. “And with him being Native American I told him that he can tell his story to inspire other kids that are on the reservation.”


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Categories: Track & Field

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com