It’s not the statement a discus thrower usually makes coming into a pressure-filled state meet, but when Anamosa’s Nolan McLean was readying for his class 2A competition just outside of Drake Stadium in Des Moines Thursday, May 21, he was hoping for some interesting weather to move in.
“I wanted it to start raining, pouring actually,” he said. “I’d been practicing in the pouring rain for six days leading up to the state meet and figured if it was pouring, I’d have an advantage on the rest of the field because I was throwing it pretty good in those conditions.”
Just minutes before the state event was set to start, a light drizzle began, but mere seconds before McLean took to the circle it stopped, and the star Raider senior seemed somewhat shaken.
“I think the weather just got into my head and really affected how I was throwing,” said McLean, who came into the meet as one of class 2A’s top discus throwers, but struggled unleashing a 128-foot, 4-inch effort in his final attempt of the day to miss finals and place 19th overall.
“Obviously, this was not how I wanted things to go. I don’t know if I had just gotten so used to throwing in a puddle of a circle or what, but it just seemed like I couldn’t get anything going, and that’s a pretty frustrating way to end my career here. I expected a lot more out of myself.”
McLean unleashed throws that went out of bounds on his first two attempts and needed a big one on his final try in the second flight.
“It didn’t happen, but I am happy I was able to make it here to state and I had a pretty good year too,” said McLean, who graduates the program as the second-best discus thrower in school history.
“I would have never done the discus if it wasn’t for Mr. Michels back in seventh grade. He got me going and it’s been a great ride ever since. Honestly, I’ve had so much fun doing it I would have considered throwing in college if it wasn’t for baseball.”
McLean will play baseball for Kirkwood Community College next spring.
“The weather was a factor, but definitely not an excuse,” said Anamosa boys track coach Justin Bader. “He just didn’t have one of his best days. I think being the first time throwing at state along with the short time between the 4x100 he was a member of, didn’t help. He scratched on his first two throws so the pressure was really on in the third. It just wasn’t good enough for finals.”
Jesup’s Carson Lienau topped the class 2A field at 165-5.