Wright on the money

It’s always great when local student-athletes excel in their sport of choice.

For Gilmer County High School graduate and now West Virginia University Mountaineer Sada Wright, that sport would be throwing.

Wright’s two-day run at the AAU Junior Olympics came to a close on Wednesday at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with her finishing 16th place in the shot put.

On Tuesday morning the ex-Titan, who will compete for WVU head coach Sean Cleary, placed fourth in her 17-18 age division in the discus.

“No. Obviously not,” Wright quipped when asked about not being pleased with her shot put effort. “It is what it is. Obviously, I wanted to throw further than what I threw today. It was well behind what I normally throw.”

For the second straight year, Wright made the podium — top eight — in the discus.

“It was a good time,” she added. “Yesterday, the experience of going up on the podium again and all that was really cool.

“It was a really nice facility. It’s one of America’s most prestigious stadiums for track and field. I threw against really good competition.”

Indeed, the competition was stiff.

Winning the 17-18 division for the discus and shot put was Mikayla Deshazer, who will be a senior this year at Lincoln College Prep High School in Missouri. She’s the defending Class 3A state champ in both events.

The interesting part about Deshazer, who has named four of the five schools she plans to visit before making her college announcement, is that two of those are Big 12 members. Her list currently includes Baylor, Oklahoma, Florida and Oregon.

Needless to say, Wright understands what she will be going up against at the next level and plans to do her best during her time as a Mountaineer.

“I finished higher than I did last year,” Wright said of going from sixth to fourth nationally in the discus. “It was a good experience, just one last meet before I’m wearing the Old Gold and Blue.”

Continuing to hone her craft is something Wright is looking forward to. That includes being under the tutelage of WVU strength and conditioning coach Jarrod Burton, who works with the track team.

“When I was being recruited, (coach) Cleary found him (Burton) to be the coach and he agreed to be the coach for the throws next year. He’s a really good guy. A real respectable guy.

“I think improvement in throwing all around is a good mix between not just throwing and technique, but also strength. It will be new for me this year. I’ll have a specific throwing coach there to work with me every single day.”

Wright continued, “I know people who can help me watch my throws and dad as the head coach has been watching throws for 20-some years.

“I can’t always see what I’m doing and I can’t fix anything. I think that will be a big thing that will help me next season and seasons to come.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbenett@newsandsentinel.com