For The Tribune
Seymour’s Josh Vance has thrown the shot put and discus since middle school, but there is no doubt what his favorite is of the two field events.
“I prefer discus,” he said. “I feel more comfortable doing discus. I’m close to 122 (feet).”
Some discus throwers use a spin release, while others glide across the ring.
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“I spin,” Vance said. “You just have to have good balance coming out of the back (of the ring) and good footwork to keep you inside the ring. You have to have good technique on releasing it and getting the right angle to throw it.
“You want to release it off your forefinger and you want to follow your chest up. You want to raise your chest when you’re throwing it.”
Vance said a lot of throwers like to crouch down and get low before they start their move across the ring, but he likes to start out a little higher.
“I start a little bit high, and when I start into my spin I kind of crouch down through the middle and I kind of stand up when I finish it,” he said.
“I just try to keep it in the middle (of the landing area), but normally when I’m coming around I have my eyes shut. I really don’t open my eyes until after the discus has left my hand and I’m starting to turn back around the ring. You have to have strong legs and really good technique, too.”
With the elements, Vance adjusts to the wind depending if it is blowing from behind him or into his face.
The release in the shot put is much different than in the discus.
“A lot of people glide, but my coach got me doing the spin,” Vance said. “A lot of people say you’re just bench pressing the ball, or the shot put, out when you’re doing it. You want to get your chest as wide as possible and facing up. And you use your legs a lot to push it up, too. You use your shoulders more for the shot than you do for the disc.
“You’re using more of your hips to throw the disc. That’s what helps you get it out there really far. The shot put is more upper body.”
The senior’s best shot put throw was 41 feet.
Vance threw for Brownstown Central through his junior year and competed for Seymour this past spring.
He said he liked his season with the Owls and enjoyed competing against his former teammates from Brownstown in the meet April 23 and at the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional.
Meets allow Vance to see old faces while meeting new competitors.
“You get to meet people that are doing the same events that you’re doing, and meet other people that do other events, and learn how they do those events,” Vance said.
Vance said he watches how other throwers do things to see if he can learn anything on how he may improve his events.
“I’d say practice for shot and disc is pretty important,” he said. “You always have to keep working on your technique. You have to get the right technique down to throw the shot or disc as far as you can.”
In athletics, Vance said it’s important to keep a positive attitude no matter what sport you are competing in.
“You have to believe in your ability as much as possible,” Vance said. “I know when I’m throwing I normally go in thinking, if somebody beats me, what is keeping me from throwing that distance? I’m thinking nothing is going to stop me from reaching that distance.”
During meets, Vance has his best distances on either his first or second throw, and he can usually tell during warmups if it is going to be a good day for him.
“If it’s not I just kind of slow it down a little bit and get my thoughts and try it again and see how it goes,” Vance said.
Name: Josh Vance
Parents: Jeff and Judy Vance
Sports: Track, four years
Athletics highlights: Helped Brownstown win 2014 sectional
Home meets: “The ring at Seymour is real nice. The surface is real smooth.”
Favorite away track: “When I was over at Brownstown I’d say the Seymour ring was the one I liked the best.”
Plans after high school: Attend Vincennes University
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory”
Favorite movie: “American Sniper”