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Sarasota Athlete of the Week: Luis Castaneda

The Riverview High thrower is tops in Class 4A in the discus (171 feet, 11 inches) as of March 28.

Riverview High junior Luis Castaneda finished second in the discus.
Riverview High junior Luis Castaneda finished second in the discus.
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Luis Castaneda is a junior track and field thrower at Riverview High. Castaneda is No. 1 in Class 4A in the discus (171 feet, 11 inches) as of March 28, according to data. He also competes in the shot put, weight throw and hammer throw. 

When did you start throwing?

I started in sixth grade. This guy Gary Dixon was my middle school coach. I still work with him, actually. But he came up to me one day and told me he wanted to see me throw, so I went to a practice and I liked it. I thought I would throw super far, but that didn't happen. I had to work for it, but I liked that. 

What is the appeal to you?

The focus is all on me, meaning if I improve myself, my throws will go farther. If I don't, they won't. It's all on me. I like that responsibility. 

What is your favorite event?

I like the discus and the weight throw. Not that I'm bad at the others, but those two are the events I'm best at right now. I plan on getting better at all my events. 

What was your offseason training like?

I would go to the gym for two hours each day. Then I'd do some drills and at the end do some light throws, but it was mostly just practice. I also focused on my form when I was throwing. I used (resistance) bands to get the form down for all my events. 

What is your favorite memory?

When I was in eighth grade I went to the Junior Olympics in Satellite Beach. I was on my fourth throw (in the discus) and my dad (Luis Castaneda Sr.) was getting on me to throw further. I ended up setting a pretty good PR there and finished sixth, and I remember us celebrating right there at the event. 

What are your goals for this season?

Well, a general goal is to continue to improve my form overall. But I want to hit 56 meters (183.7 feet) in the discus. I think that would put me in a good place for this summer and would help colleges look at me. 

What is your favorite food?

I like tacos, especially chicken tacos. 

What is your favorite movie?

I have to say "300." I love that movie. 

Which superpower would you pick?

Super strength. (Laughs.) That would help a lot. 

What is your favorite school subject?

This year I like marine biology a lot. I'm learning a lot I didn't know about red tide, things like that. 

What are your hobbies?

I usually play soccer on Sundays, and I like to go fishing, too. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Coach Dixon, he always tells me, "Don't suck, and throw far." It's that simple. 

Finish this sentence: "Luis Castaneda is …"

Competitive. I don't like to lose, to be honest. I always want first place. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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