Suburban Skyview: Throwing a discus isn’t as easy as it looks

On a perfectly sunny, breezy summer day, teens may relax by the pool or hang out with friends and not think about the long school year they just finished. But not all of them.

Vernon Hills High School athlete Jaewook Lee spent part of a recent day thinking about one thing: his finish to the Illinois High School Association boys track and field season.

“My season is over,” he explained. “I didn’t qualify (for the state meet in Charleston) so I’m working on things.” He wants to be ready when the season begins in his senior year, so he repeated his throw again and again at the school’s discus pad.

The technique of throwing a discus is not an easy one. Strength, agility, timing, athleticism and concentration are needed all at the same time. It involves holding without gripping, taking big steps without moving far, spinning without falling, and releasing the discus with precise timing to keep it in the landing zone. Only a couple of seconds elapse from the start of the athlete’s first movement on the small cement pad to the release of the heavy disc.

To qualify for the IHSA meet, Jaewook must perfect his technique and throw the discus more than half the length of a football field. I applaud Jaewook for working toward his goals and wish him well.

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