Ozark’s Ryan Dotson typically throws the javelin further than his competition and noticeably higher.
Throwing into a slight breeze at Friday’s COC Track Meet, Dotson didn’t let the wind hinder him on a day it easily could have. He made the proper adjustments on his way to a championship throw of 172-7.
“I’ve kind of learned that throwing into the wind, you want the javelin nose up, rather than down, or else it will go straight into the ground,” Dotson said. “The wind will blow it down. I go for height and let the wind float it. I have the tip up when the wind is blowing toward you. But you don't want it straight up or else it will die.”
Dotson not only gained a gold medal, but redemption, as well. He was fifth at the COC Meet a year ago.
“I'm pretty happy with myself,” he said. “Last year I did pretty bad at the COC Meet, I kind of choked.”
Dotson went on to finish third at the Class 6 State Track Meet last year.
He has momentum on his side entering the post-season this spring, along with plenty of K-tape all over his right arm.
Dating back to Sectionals last year, Dotson has been shining, despite a torn UCL. He’ll have his arm operated on this summer.
“I’ve got a torn UCL to add on to all the knee surgeries I’ve had,” he said, referring to his three knee surgeries over the years.
Dotson, who will continue his javelin career at Pitt State has learned to throw with pain around his elbow.
“To be honest, it hurts pretty bad,” Dotson said. “But I'm kind of used to torn ligaments. It's all about pain management. When I hurt it, I could tell immediately. I heard it pop.
“The coaches have been strategizing, keeping me out of some of the less important meets to let my arm rest,” he added.
Ozark’s highlights included three first-place finishes for the Tigers and one first and one school record for the Lady Tigers.
The Tigers’ 4 x 200 relay of Sam Clark, Ben Miller, Will Scheer and Hunter Johnson was first (1:31.4).
Gabe Bauer lowered his PR by four seconds en route to winning the 3,200 (9:27).
Abby Beets won the pole vault by clearing 10-0.
Hanna Vorhies set a school record while finishing second in the long jump (17-7). She broke her own PR of 17-4.
Jessica Marshall was runner-up in the discus (100-9).
The Lady Tigers’ 4 x 200 relay of Emma Godwin, Ashya Thompson, Adria Wakeman and Blaire Pace was second (1:48).
Pace and Ella Counts were 2-3 in the 400, with Pace being clocked in 1:00.88 and Counts at 1:02.63.
Nolan Moeller was second in the 800 (1:57.17). It’s the third straight meet he’s been clocked in 1:57.
Thirds went to Wakeman in the 300 hurdles (49.06), Peyton Ligon in the high jump (6-01/2) and Scheer in the 400 (51.97).