As Ryan Simmons drove to Salado High School he turned on the radio.
That's when he heard the lyrics from Building 429's "We Won't Be Shaken."
"It was like through the fire and pouring rain, we won't be shaken," Simmons said. "I said all right it might rain, but I am not going to get shaken at all.
"I am just going to come out here and chuck the crap out of it."
And that is what he did. On his second attempt, Simmons uncorked a throw of 174 feet, five inches and won the silver medal in the 2A boys discus at the UIL State Track and Field Championships, which were delayed two separate times by thunderstorms on Friday.
The 2A discus was one of the most delayed events. Originally scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m., competitors did not enter the ring to make official throws until 10 p.m.
Alan Zapalac of Wallis Brazos won the event with a throw of 176-8 on his second attempt.
Simmons had four shots to unseat Zapaloc, but could not get a throw of more than 168-5 on his final attempts.
"I did not do a whole lot wrong," Simmons said. "I was spinning good and just chucking it. That is all I came in here hoping to do. …I feel like maybe I could have gotten a better throw in, but I don’t want to make any excuses.”
The Salado junior also had his best showing at the state meet, where he has been a regular since his freshman year when he finished seventh. Last year, he won the bronze medal.
“It has been frustrating coming here the last few years and not getting the distance I wanted, but (this year) is a lot better than the last few years even if it is only a silver (medal),” Simmons said.
Contact Nick Talbot at email@example.com or (254) 501-7569