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Sachem North’s Chris Fasano likes to call all the shots

Sachem North's Chris Fasano prepares to throw discus

Sachem North's Chris Fasano prepares to throw discus during practice at Sachem North High School in Ronkonkoma on Wednesday April 19, 2017. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

Chris Fasano has a lot on his plate, so it’s a good thing he knows how to throw them. After his school day is done, the Sachem North senior shot put/discus competitor throws down his bookbag and throws on his director’s hat. Fasano and a couple of his friends are directing a student-run production of “Chaplin,” a musical based on the life of the famous silent film comedian.

Fasano, an accomplished musician who plays bass and guitar, as well as dabbling in piano, drums, and baritone saxophone, is working with the pit orchestra as the production takes shape. As a member of the school’s symphonic orchestra, pit orchestra, jazz band, and a cappella group, he is more than up for the task.

Through all of it, Fasano has become one of the top throwers in the state — excelling at both shot put and discus. At this point, being busy is old hat for Fasano. He was a four-year starter on the school’s football team, serving as captain for the last two and starting on both the offensive and defensive line for the last three. He’ll line up on the defensive line for Bryant University next fall.

“It’s a lot easier than it seems,” Fasano said. “As a football player, I’m used to having a lot on my plate. Believe it or not, the more I do, the more organized I become.”

While balancing everything can appear, at times, like a high-stakes game of Jenga, the support staff around Fasano accommodate his needs whenever they can.

“I try to work things out with coaching and I try to get everything done,” Fasano said. “I also have to keep in mind that I have to get back and make sure that I get everything done for this play. I go back and forth, but in the end, everyone helps me out, pushes me forward, and says ‘we’ll help you out, as long as you help us out.’ They give me the amount of leeway that I need so I can get both done.”

And, for their selfless efforts, he rewards them handsomely. Fasano placed fourth in shot put at the indoor state championships in March, tossing 54 feet, 11 inches. Despite the high finish, Fasano left the indoor season a bit frustrated. After throwing 58 feet, one inch early in the season, he wasn’t able to go any farther.

“My numbers always rested at 54 or 56,” he said. “I’d hoped to get back to 58. As of now, my numbers are starting to increase, due to it being the beginning of the [spring] season and introducing disc again. I’m starting to get back into the flow of everything and pinpoint my problems in my technique, get back in the weight room, and really push forward.”

Fasano is the highest returning finisher from last year’s outdoor state Federation shot put finals, throwing 57 feet, 7 inches and placing third last June. With a wide-open discus field — only one of the top eight finishers from last June’s state competition return — Fasano believes he has a good shot to finish highly in both.

“I feel like there is a lot less of a field in discus, but I still think that my home rests in shot,” he said. “Shot is where I’m going to shine most. It’s also early in the season . . . It really depends on how the year goes and how my training goes for all three to see which one will shine brightest.”

Fasano began the spring season strongly, winning the discus with a 156 foot, one inch throw and finishing second in the shot put (56-1.5) at the Port Jeff Steeplefest at Port Jefferson High School April 12. His main competition in both events was Kings Park’s Dan Byrne. Byrne, also a senior, won the indoor state shot put championship — putting a little juice into this competitive, yet friendly rivalry.

“The beauty of it is we’re actually pretty good friends,” Fasano said. “ . . . We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Going into the postseason, we help out each other. If I can make him better, maybe he can make me better. We work off each other very well.”

Fasano is hoping to match Byrne with a state championship of his own this spring.

“I’d love to get back on the podium and take first, of course,” Fasano said. “But, I’d love to have a great competition with [Byrne]. It all starts with him bombing one, then me bombing another one or vice versa and it becoming a great battle. It starts with that basic competition and that’s when we really seem to have great days.”

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