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May 23, 2013

Throwing his way to the top

DUNCAN — His father Craig starred in track at Oklahoma State after a decorated high school career. His younger brother Connor was named an AAU All-American, won the AAU Club National/ESPN Rise Games in the discus throw and competed in the AAU Junior Olympics last summer.

Living in a household where state and national success in track’s throwing events has become the norm, Duncan junior Kevin Roddy is also doing his part to keep the family tradition alive.

Roddy stands at the forefront of some of the top discus and shot put throwers from around the world, with his discus distance of 172 feet and two inches ranking third in his age group in the United States.

That distance was more than plenty at the Class 5A State Tournament two weeks ago, where Roddy brought home a state title in the discus by an unprecedented distance of twenty feet. As if that wasn’t enough, Roddy also took second in the shot put behind teammate Derick McKnight, throwing 56 feet and eight inches.

“I had been planning to win at least one event, and after winning discus, it felt so good that everything I had worked for had paid off,” Roddy said. “I think I can throw even farther next year.”

The junior’s throwing days date back all the way to third grade, when Craig Roddy decided to get his son involved with the sport that had been so good to him at Stroud High School and OSU. Kevin Roddy started competing in what he has grown to love during the last eight years at meets during the summer.

“It was my dad’s idea,” Roddy said. “He threw in college at OSU and that’s really what got me started.”

Since he started competing in track for Duncan in seventh grade, those summers fully scheduled with meets all over the United States haven’t stopped.

Throwing at meets as far away from home as San Diego, Orlando and New Mexico over the years, Roddy has become quite familiar with standing atop the podium on the national circuit. Last summer alone, Roddy broke the USATF Oklahoma Association Junior Olympic Championship meet record in the shot put, took second at the AAU Club National/ESPN Rise Games in the discus and took third place in both events at the AAU Junior Olympics in Houston. It was just another summer for Roddy, who won two national titles at the State Games of America after his freshman season.

 Roddy will once again use the summer to hone his craft, but his schedule in 2013 could take him farther away from his hometown than ever before.

“This year I’ll be competing at the Youth World Trials in St. Louis and top two distances there go to Youth World Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine,” Roddy said. “I’ve already met the youth standard in discus and national standard in both events. Now I have just have to officially be there on site and qualify with the distances I’ve already thrown.

As one of the most experienced throwers on the field every time he competes, Roddy said getting an early start to his career has given him an edge.

“Starting at a young age, it just helps you get knowledge of the event and like any sport it helps you know what your goals are. You know how to do it more than you would if you were starting older,” Roddy said. “Doing it year round allows it to never get old or never get rusty, it just lets you keep excelling at what you do.”

Years of throwing have taught the seasoned veteran that track, by nature, includes events that will always have their ups and downs.

“One thing I’ve learned is sometimes you don’t always have your best week,” Roddy said. “You have to continue on no matter how good or bad last week was, you have to try and do better this week.”

Helping Roddy’s cause on the field has been the company he’s kept. Along with his dad and Demons throwing coach Tim Buben, Roddy spent all season competing against McKnight, a two-time state champion. Roddy also had the chance to learn under the tutelage of a local legend, training with former Demons thrower Austin Perry, who now throws in college at Oklahoma.

After all his accomplishments, the endless first place finishes, its almost hard to fathom that Roddy could still get better in his final year at Duncan.

With a new group of goals already set for the 2014 season –Roddy said he would like to throw more than 200 feet in the discus and around 55 feet in the shot put next year –that’s exactly what he intends to do.

 “Yes, I think I can throw a lot farther next year,” Roddy said. “I think its so important that after all meets, all practices, you continue to move forward. I know there is room for improvement in the shot put and discus.”

With another summer to master those events even more awaiting him, those goals don’t seem out of the question. No matter what, Roddy’s senior year will certainly be one to look forward to.


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