Riverview High senior Kehtura Merrick threw the discus 120 feet, 7 inches to capture the state title at the Class 4A State Finals May 4, at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville.
Merrick recorded her winning throw on her second of six attempts and nervously waited to see if the mark would be matched.
With the throw, Merrick became the first Lady Ram in school history to win a track-and-field state title.
It means a lot to be a state champion. I was really surprised. I put so much work into it.
I never thought that I would get it. I wasn’t expecting it at all because there was so much competition.
When it came time for the sixth throw, I couldn’t even watch. I kept looking over to the track and waiting. I was so nervous. After I did 120, I guess all of the other girls just shut down. At least that’s the way it seemed.
After I learned I was the first state champion in school history, I was shocked. I didn’t think me, of all people, would be the first.
I started throwing in seventh grade. I was in PE and one of my teachers said I should try the discus. I said, ‘What’s that?’ I had the perfect form, and I don’t even know how. I broke the school record in middle school with a 94-1.
I prefer the discus rather than shot put because I’m more of a technical person. Shot put requires you to use more muscle.
I wouldn’t want to do anything else, but if I couldn’t throw then I would try triple jump. I can jump some.
The hardest part about discus is staying low when you’re spinning. I tend to just focus on how far I can throw it and sometimes forget to stay low.
I want to go to school for basketball or track. I have offers for both, but I know if I go for one then I’ll miss the other. I can’t pick.