Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Knights' Wood Battles Back for Discus Crown

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Knights' Wood Battles Back for Discus Crown

Article excerpt

Jason Wood saved his best for last. Literally.

After leading through most of the competition, Wood, a Francis Howell North High senior, found himself in second place as he prepared for his final attempt in the discus competition at the Class 4A State Track and Field Championships Friday at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

"I know it sounds strange, but it was almost a spiritual experience," said Wood, 18. "I remember thinking that this would be the last throw of my high school career, so I prayed to God to give me the strength and composure to deal with the pressure. All year when I was behind, my coach (Scott Eacret) would tell me to battle back. Just before I stepped into the ring, I looked at him and he mouthed the words `Battle back' to me. And that's really all I remember.

"I knew I had a good throw because I could hear the cheering. But I had such a head rush that I never saw it land. If you look at the films, you'll see that I fell down in the ring after I let go."

The result: a toss of 180 feet, 5 inches to win the championship. Wood's previous career best in the discus was 175-8.

"I'd like to say that I met God halfway, but that wouldn't be fair to Him," joked Wood, who was sixth in the discus and ninth in the shot put as a junior. "When you throw almost five feet farther than your previous best, you know God did more than His share."

The second-place finisher, Blue Springs' Jared Barge, had a toss of 172-4.

In the shot put, Wood suffered a torn tendon in his hand and didn't make the finals.

"I threw, but I think my best was around 40 feet," he said. "I was disappointed that I didn't do better, but the discus was the event I've been focusing on all season. That's my event and it really felt great to come out on top in my last high school competition.

"But again, I have to thank God for all He's done for me. Without him, none of this would be possible. …

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