After a hugely successful season, including a first place showing at the Masters Meet in the discus, Oakdale’s Ben Chappell had another notable achievement over the weekend.
Chappell placed second on Saturday, June 15 at the 14th Annual California State High School Hammer Throwing Championships at Delta College in Stockton. He threw a 155-11 personal best in the discus at Masters and followed that up with a 17th overall finish at the State Meet in his first trip to that event, throwing the discus an even 150 feet.
On Saturday, his hammer throw of 179-5 was enough to vault him into second place on the day. Champion Christian Johnson of Buchanan threw for 220-3 and third place went to James Wright of Great Oak with a mark of 172-9.
Meanwhile, Madison King, a Pitman High School senior this year who has committed to William Jessup University on a track and field scholarship, placed third in the girls competition with a personal best throw of 144-3.
This weekend’s installment of the annual event is part of what’s called a “Postal Meet,” with one meet happening at the same time in two different locations, with the same events, and combining results to determine the champion.
Delta College was the Northern site of the event, with Cerritos College being the locale for the Southern State.
Other notable finishers for the girls were Pitman thrower McKinley King in 16th place and incoming Sonora freshman Erica Walker taking 19th in her first shot at the championships.
“We had a really great turn out. Lots of great young throwers. It’s just great that we can have a venue for great young throwers to practice their trade, and to spotlight their skills honed from a season’s worth of practice,” said Co-Meet Director Ken McClain.
In California, all track and field events are competed at the high school level except Hammer, Javelin and the Steeple Chase.
For 14 years a group of coaches, fans, parents, and athletes have been hosting the meet and crowning a state champion in boys and girls high school hammer.