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As Jericho's White grows so goes his discus throws

Jericho junior Noah White prepares to make a

Jericho junior Noah White prepares to make a throw in the boys shot put event during the Nassau County varsity track & field individual championships and state qualifiers. (May 30, 2012) Credit: James Escher

At 6-5, Noah White towers over his competition in more ways than one.

And if his performance at the Nassau state qualifying track and field meet is any indication, the Jericho junior could come out head and shoulders above the competition Friday and Saturday at the state meet.

White won the discus on the first day of the qualifying meet Tuesday at Westbury with a throw of 163-3, then followed that Wednesday by winning the shot put (53-11/4) to qualify for the state meet in both events.

"It was one of my main goals that we had coming into the season," he said. "So it feels nice to have achieved it."

The double win caps a season that has lauched White into the upper echelon of Long Island throwers. The junior has improved steadily, and now has the second-best discus throw in New York State and the top mark on Long Island at 176-4.

The key to White's growth in the circle? His physical growth. After joining the team as a 6-1 freshman two years ago, White has filled out, allowing him to get more momentum on his spins and more power on his throws.

White threw 111-7 as a freshman and 137-10 as a sophomore before hitting 176-4 at the Nassau Coaches' Invitational in April.

"Being pretty big helps a lot," White said with a laugh. "I've just grown into my body these past couple of years, and it's been helpful."

White also credited a stint last summer with the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic team with helping his progress. He finished seventh in the intermediate boys division with a throw of 143-7 last July in the Junior Olympics, in Wichita, Kan.

"That extra practice was one of the reasons I came into my own a lot this year," he said.

In addition, White, who plays for the Jayhawks' football team, dissects video footage of his throws as he would football game film.

"He's very, very attentive and very coachable," coach Pete Ninivaggi said. "He's always looking for more ways to get better. He's never satisfied with where he's at."

One thing that could satisfy White: a state title next weekend at Cicero-North Syracuse. And while he knows that he'll be going up against some tough competition, he hopes to stand tall when it's all said and done.

"Anything's possible," White said. "We have a lot of great discus and shot throwers upstate, downstate, on the Island. I just want to go up there and do my best. If I can PR [personal record], that'd be fantastic."

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