Records fall to Hendershot's hefty heave

Records fall to Hendershot's hefty heave

CHARLESTON — Perhaps it was intentional. Most likely not.

Sometime during Saturday's Class 2A boys' state track and field finals, a public-address announcement provided a potential nickname for Mahomet-Seymour's standout thrower.

"Huntershot."

This condensing of Hunter Hendershot's name, though, is more appropriate than some might realize.

The Bulldogs junior dominated the 2A shot put, breaking Jason Seaman's school record with a toss of 62 feet, 1 1 / 4 inches to capture his second consecutive event championship.

He then doubled up by hurling the discus 182 feet, 4 inches to outlast a late charge from St. Viator's Athan Huelskamp and snare that crown as well.

Oh, and Hendershot collected his second M-S record in the process.

"It's unbelievable," Hendershot said. "I'm still speechless. Just an amazing day. Just a blessed day."

It began in the shot, an event Hendershot led out of the preliminaries by more than four feet.

As was the case throughout the earlier portions of his season, Hendershot was forced to compete against himself.

That meant setting his sights on Seaman's program standard — as well as the small sign in the shot area displaying the all-time 2A mark, set by Carbondale's Sam Sikon at 63-6 in 2017.

"Mentality was ridiculous," Hendershot said. "I had that adrenaline boost. Coach (Tony Vaughn) told me to get my elbow up, so I did, because I was throwing pretty high."

On Hendershot's second of three attempts, he struck gold.

"It was a bomb," Hendershot said. "I saw it land (and) I couldn't believe I did it. All year I've been working for it, and I finally did it at state."

Hendershot had a good idea he'd just etched his name into Bulldogs history, surpassing Seaman's 2007 clearance of 60-8 1 / 2.

"You can kind of tell when it comes off good," he said. "You get that nice flick, and I definitely felt it there."

Discus offered a bit more of a test for Hendershot, even though he paced the field by a little more than three feet after Friday's qualifier.

In the final round, Huelskamp gave Hendershot something to think about by landing his disc at 177-6.

So Hendershot went and advanced the M-S record half an inch past the 182-3 1 / 2 chucked by Paul James in 1978.

"I was like, 'Oh, I've got to step it up,'" Hendershot said. "All year round, there's not many people pushing me, so it's lucky at the state meet ... (to) have someone actually there to push me to do better."

The cherry on top was Hendershot's 20 points helping the Bulldogs to third place in the 2A team chase, their second consecutive state trophy.

Even on top of his class in both of his events, Hendershot isn't done racking up accomplishments.

Before competing in discus Saturday, he acknowledged wanting his name attached to that venture's 2A best, currently held by Sandwich's Ryan Njegovan at 188-4.

And there's more where that came from.

"I'm going to try to go for the all-time state record (in shot)," said Hendershot, referencing a 68-8 throw by Lockport's John Meyer. "So 70 feet next year, that's my goal."

Hendershot added that he'd take some time Saturday evening to celebrate his present accomplishments.

What does one of the state's most dominant throwers chow down on?

"I love B Dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings)," Hendershot said. "So maybe we'll have to go there."

-