HEWITT — Girod Fluelen needed a mark. The one he made was laughable, but it was legal, and it allowed the Copperas Cove discus thrower another three tries.
Thirty-one feet, 5 inches; The mark wouldn’t have even placed him in the top eight of the girls shot put, but it set up the Bulldawgs senior to break a 48-year-old school record at the District 7-5A and 8-5A Area track and field meet Friday at Waco Midway’s Panther Stadium.
“I wasn’t really nervous because in warm-up I had gotten one farther than my last throw, I just knew that I had to focus and make sure I kept doing what I have been doing the whole year,” Fluelen said.
Fluelen threw a 182-8 on his final attempt, leap-frogging teammate Tyler Agnello to win the area championship and break the previous Copperas Cove school record of 181-11 set by Ronnie Lightfoot in 1965.
“When he announced that 182-8, I just ... biggest smile in the world right now,” Fluelen said. “I finally broke the record, which was one of my goals I’ve been focused on this year.”
Beginning this year, the University Interscholastic League added an area track meet between the district and region meets, something 1A schools have used for years. The top four finishers at the area meet will then move on to region, where only the top two in each event qualify for the state meet. The Region I-5A meet is April 26-27 at Texas Tech.
Agnello, who led the event from his second attempt until Fluelen’s final throw, finished second with a mark of 166-9½.
Fluelen scratched on his first two attempts in the preliminary round, then literally tossed the discus for a mark of 31-5 just to make it to the finals. Then he uncorked a 153-1 throw on the first of his three finals attempts that catapulted him from eighth to second for a time.
“It was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had," Fluelen said of his 153-foot mark. “I didn’t know where it was, but I knew it was out there.”
Fluelen’s gold medal was one of four picked up by the Cove boys Friday, including two by Cameron Woodberry, as the District 8-5A champions finished second behind defending 5A state champion DeSoto for the area championship. DeSoto won with 105 points and Cove finished with 70. The Shoemaker boys finished fourth (56.5) and Belton placed sixth (54). Harker Heights was 10th (27), Killeen 13th (20) and Ellison 15th (10).