Plum’s Logan Parker improves on indoor shot put record

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Saturday, February 20, 2021 | 9:01 AM


At the third Youngstown State open high school meet of the indoor season Feb. 13, Plum senior Logan Parker threw further than anyone else in the shot put.

He recorded a heave of 57 feet, 6½ inches to claim the title, outdistancing regional rival Connor Vass-Gal, a senior from Wilmington in District 10, by three inches.

It was a winter best for Parker and increased the Plum indoor record he established in 2020. It also added to a resume that already included a qualifying mark for this weekend’s Adidas Nationals meet in Virginia Beach, Va.

“I feel really good right now,” said Parker, who also set a Plum outdoor shot put school record at an invitational last summer.

“I never really thought I would be going to nationals.”

Adidas Nationals begins Friday and runs through Sunday. Parker will throw the shot put in the championship competition at 11 a.m. Sunday.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” said Parker, who hopes to be throwing the shot put more than 60 feet on a consistent basis by the end of the spring.

“Nationals really encourages a lot of kids that if you put your mind to something and you work hard at it, it will pay off in the end.”

Parker, who has committed to throw in college at Division II Shippensburg, began indoor competitions two years ago, but, he said, he ramped up his indoor focus last year.

He also owns the Plum indoor record for the weight throw (46-10).

Parker made indoor states last winter and threw 54-9 in the shot put and placed eighth.

He broke onto the outdoor scene as a sophomore in 2019 and finished third in the boys Class AAA shot put (51-4¾) at WPIALs and took sixth in the discus (136-10).

Parker went on to place 12th in the shot put (51-0) at the PIAA meet in Shippensburg.

He hoped to improve on all of those marks as a junior last spring, but the increasing effects of the coronavirus pandemic forced the state to cancel high school competitions.

“It was pretty tough hearing from my coach that they were canceling the season,” Parker said.

“At the same time, I tried to take positives out of it as it gave me more time to prepare to make the best of my senior year.”

During the time of quarantine and restrictions in April, May and into June, Parker was able to train in the outdoor throwing circles for the shot put and discus at Plum High School.

“Any time that I could, I was up there practicing,” he said.

“I felt really fortunate and was glad that I was able to still have the chance to work on my throws.”

The work led up to competition opportunities at several meets over the summer.

At a meet in July, the USATF Rose Invitational at Laurel High School in New Castle, Parker put himself in the Plum record books.

Representing the Mustangs in an official capacity, Parker set the school record with a shot-put throw of 59-5¼. He placed second in the event to Vass-Gal, the PIAA Class AA runner-up in 2019. Vass Gal threw 61-3.

“It was a good meet for kids to go and get that competition they lost during the spring,” Parker said.

“Working my way up to (the record), I was never super close. During workouts, I was always around 55 feet, and then I would throw around 56 or 57 in those first couple of meets. Whenever I threw that 59; that was the best feeling in the world. It just felt so good when I released it. As I was watching it go through the air, I didn’t know what to do or what to say. Once it hit the ground, I screamed and I clapped. I was just so excited.”

Parker’s toss surpassed a record that had stood for more than 40 years. Bob Thirey held the previous record of 58-7½ set in 1977.

He also threw the discus 154-2 at the Rose Invitational and earned a runner-up finish to Hempfield senior Daniel Norris (161-1).

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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