Jahvirye Wilks picked a good night to have his best night. The Farmingdale senior won the weight throw at Nassau Class A championship with a 60-foot, 3 inch toss at St. Anthony’s High School Monday night. The mark is the best on Long Island this season, according to milesplit.com.
Twelve Class A competitors began the night with three throws of a 25-pound weight. The top six were then granted another three throws. Wilks’ winning toss came on his third throw of the opening round.
“I was able to keep low and get all my power from keeping the weight out in front of me and driving my knee,” Wilks said “I’ve been working on my release all week…I finished high, I finished fast, and I finished strong, just typical things you need to do when throwing.”
Wilks’ previous personal-best was a 58-3 ¼ throw at at the Nassau Conference I championships in January.
Wilks’ power is pure, with little momentum needed. Some weight throwers turn as many as three times in the circle before releasing the weight. Wilks uses only one turn.
“I started out [this season] with two turns, but that wasn’t working so I switched over to one,” he said. “When I switched over to the one turn, I kept [getting personal bests], so I stuck with it throughout the season.”
Wilks’ competition have taken notice of the one-spin technique and are impressed.
“He’s very powerful,” said Massapequa’s Devin Rosmarin, who finished second at 59-4 ½. “One turn, 60 foot. That means there’s a lot of power.”
Wilkes said that he switched to the one turn approach in December after not feeling comfortable in the circle.
“I didn’t have the technique down,” he said. “I couldn’t control my speed [With the one spin], I feel like I have more control. I’m in control of my speed and the weight.”
The championship showed that no matter how difficult a start to a season may be, there’s always room for big improvement. Wilks certainly wasn’t thinking county championship in December.
“I had a pretty rough start,” Wilks said. “I started throwing about 47 feet, and I finished here at 60.”
Rosmarin held the previous best throw on Long Island, a 59 -8 ½ toss at the Ocean Breeze High School Invitational in late January on Staten Island.
“I have to work on accelerating through my throws,” Rosmarin said after finishing second Monday. “That’s something that, if I could have done it tonight, I probably would have thrown farther.”
Rosmarin has a quick turnaround. He’ll be competing in the Millrose Games weight throw Thursday night at the Armory in Manhattan. He said he’ll spend the next two days doing drills to improve acceleration.
On the girls side, Massapequa’s Danielle Whelan won the Class A weight throw, tossing 39-1½.
“I’ve been working for this for the last three years, it’s really my passion,” Whelan said. “…The main thing I like to do [in the circle] is just keep moving, keep going quickly, and not think so much about exactly what my feet are doing and just move as fast as I can.”