Winfield senior Jeremy Groene had developed a problem staying in the discus ring, and throws coach Marvin Estes had to fix it quickly because Groene was going to compete in the Class 4A discus Friday at Cessna Stadium.
Estes told Groene to be at the high school at 3 p.m. Thursday. After mowing grass all day for the city of Winfield, Groene arrived ready to work.
"We simply explained to him, 'You've got to raise the discus a little more out of the ring, which will give you a little better body angle,' " Estes said. "'And tighten up your finish.' It made sense to him. He went out the next time, lifts a little out of the back and tightens up his finish. It happens. You explain it and it happens."
Friday, Groene won his first state championship, winning with a throw of 174 feet, 6 inches — and no problems with staying in the ring.
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"He's such a good, good kid," Estes said. "He's a hard worker, and he's in the top 10 percent of his class, and he really worked hard and he listened to what you had to say and he was able to turn that into athletic skill and make adjustments just really easy."
Groene trailed after qualifying, but his first finals throw went 171-11.
"Today started off kind of slow," said Groene, who threw a personal-best 192-4 at regionals last week. "I had to catch up from behind. I was sitting at third, so I had to pick it up. I just had to relax a little and go after one. You're only going to win if you go after one."
After standing for the state championship photo, Groene posed for a few more with several young cousins.
Then he found his dad, Jay, inside the stadium.
Jay Groene turned to him and said, "Way to go, kid."
"He's been working hard," Jay said of his son. "I know he's been working extra on it. After his disappointment last year, he had a shot to win state last year and didn't quite make it. But this year, I know that was his goal and he was able to do it."
In the past two years, Jeremy Groene has lost one discus event — the Class 5A competition in 2010, when he finished third.
"It wasn't a good day, and it fell through," Groene said.
Groene's a three-sport athlete — he's Winfield's quarterback and also played basketball — so he didn't put in extra effort in the offseason to improve his discus or javelin. He competes in the 4A javelin today.
Jay Groene held the discus record at Winfield at 168-11. While his record was later broken by Bryan Tapia, Jeremy Groene obliterated both.
And he reminds his father often.
"Yes, he thinks he's a big boy now," Jay Groene said, smiling at his son. "He broke my school record two years ago, and it took me until I was a senior to do that."
Asked if he disciplines his son when Jeremy rubs it in, Jay Groene laughed.
"We just have to straighten him out every now and then," he said.
Jeremy Groene shook his head with a slight smile.