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Swarbrick’s sigh of relief

Saugus thrower doesn’t have his best, but makes it to the finals anyway

Posted: June 5, 2009 10:00 p.m.
Updated: June 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
CLOVIS — For Saugus thrower Daniel Swarbrick, today may bring the celebration of a state championship in discus.

On Friday, however, there was only trepidation.

Swarbrick routinely tosses the discus 170 feet or further, but his best throw at Friday’s CIF State Track and Field Championship prelims measured 167 feet, 2 inches.

That mark left Swarbrick, his coaches and his parents waiting with bated breath as the state finalists were announced at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

“I was a little anxious, I’m not going to lie,” said Saugus throws coach Art Baldi.

Swarbrick’s throw placed him sixth, with the top nine marks qualifying for today’s state finals.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Swarbrick said. “You have your good days and your bad days. I’ve just got to regroup.”

Each athlete had three throws to try to qualify for the state finals. Swarbrick’s first throw went 164-0, and his second hung too long in the air and fell at 158-5.

“I was pulling my left foot,” he said. “I wanted to get rid of it too fast and I didn’t let the throw develop.”

Having qualified for the state finals in the discus last year, Swarbrick knew that this year would be different.

He admits there was no pressure last year, but this year he expects to win.

“It basically looked like he was trying to win the whole meet with one throw,” Baldi said.

Swarbrick will get the chance to win the whole meet thanks to his third throw, which zipped to the 167-2 mark.

It was a solid mark but still not what he or his coaches expected, especially after what Baldi said was a very strong week of practice.

“Very rarely has he thrown under 172,” Baldi said. “To see him throw in the 160s was surprising. I thought if we got ninth we’d be lucky.”

Only two athletes had better marks than Swarbrick heading into the state prelims, and both were impressive.

Frontier High School’s Matt Darr came in with the top qualifying throw, and he hurled the discus 187-6 in his first throw, which was the day’s best mark. Newport Harbor’s Cecil Whiteside then recorded the day’s second-best toss with a 181-6.

Swarbrick watched as both throwers hit their top marks, but he wasn’t bothered by it.

“Not at all,” he said. “It’s not that big of a throw. I know I have that throw in me.”

The chance will come at today’s discus finals. Despite Friday’s events, Swarbrick still has a great shot at uncorking the longest throw, as evidenced by his track record this season.

“I’m grateful for making it (to the finals),” he said. “It’s just not what I expected.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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