By Jeremy McDonald
GRESHAM, Ore.– As she prepared for her finals throw of her season, of her High School Track career, McKay’s Shay Coons kept in mind of her brother Cade Coons.
Cade Coons passed away recently as Coons was finishing up her High School Track and Field season and as she launched her final throw, her brother Cade was in her thoughts.
Shay was open in that she knew she wasn’t supposed to be there competing at the State Meet prior to her PR-toss of 129-feet-10-inch toss, edging South Salem’s Kaia Alexander 9-feet-six-inches to get District Runner-Up at Summit High School last weekend to qualify for the State Meet this week.
“I got to be honest, it was totally unexpected. But it’s really awesome that I made that PR at such a crucial time. Like if I was going to PR, that was the day to do it,” said Coons. “And to follow it up with such a big throw for me today was really good. It was a really good to end it.”
Coons, a second-year thrower for the Scots, walked into the State Meet in the second heat with the likes of Alexander, St. Mary’s Isabelle Esler and Summit’s Kohana Nakato and qualified for the finals.
She threw 119-feet-15-inches, 126-feet-even and 123-feet-four-inches respectively in the preliminary round to qualify for the finals.
“I was definitely shaking a little bit. But it was more of a excited nervousness, I wasn’t supposed to be here technically. So, it was a privilege to compete here against these girls who are going to be real competition for me,” Coons said of the nerves.
But the finals presented another problem as Coons and the other competitors battled through the head wind at Mount Hood Community College. She got 111-feet-8-inches on her first finals throw, then 110-feet-10-inches her second.
The final throws came. One last crack at finishing this off right for her.
As the girls went and threw, Coons the fifth in line, eventually had her name called for the runway. Her 126-even throw would’ve had her at sixth as she was five-inches shy of Alexander’s 131-feet-9-inch throw in the event that had the Saxon Senior at fifth.
Coons, who’s whole approach Friday afternoon at State was for Cade, remembered that as she took down the runaway for one last throw.
“I just went into that last throw thinking ‘this one is for you’ and that’s how I went at this whole Meet today that I wanted to compete for him,” said Coons of her brother. “It felt really good to get that last throw in for him.”
128-feet-1-inch was the throw result, good enough for sixth-place in the State. Nearly 18-feet better than her second Finals throw as Coons finished up her Senior season with that strong throw in honor of her brother.