Discipline, Details, Discus

Tahoma High senior and thrower Dallas Hayes is in pursuit of a new personal best and a 4A state title

Discus throwers know it’s the little things that matter.

At practice April 11 Tahoma senior Dallas Hayes and his teammates went through the motions over and over again, adjusting here, tweaking there and sending the discus flying.

“It’s not about who is the strongest,” Hayes said. “It’s about who has the best technique.”

Hayes has been throwing since his freshman year, after he saw the event and decided it looked like fun.

Hayes’ personal best throwing the discus this season has been 152 feet, a distance good enough to have won the 4A state discus title last year, and an improvement over his sixth place finish at the 2012 state meet with a throw of 141 feet 10 inches.

Hayes, however, isn’t stopping at that — his goal is to be able to close out the season with a personal best of 170 feet.

“Coach (Keith) Eager is the main reason I’m good,” Hayes said. “He’s a great coach.”

Hayes participated in throwing at the Junior Olympics in Baltimore last year with the team Seatown Express.

“At the national meet I didn’t do very well,” Hayes said. “I got nervous.”

Training for throwing has also helped Hayes with his primary sport, football. He played defensive tackle and center for Tahoma.

“When we weight lift (for throwing) it’s the same training, explosive lifting,” Hayes said.

Next year Hayes will play football for Montana State University, where he’ll play defensive tackle. Montana State competes in the Football Championship Series. During the 2012 season, the Bobcats made a deep run into the FCS playoff tournament, losing to Sam Houston State in the semifinal.

For now though, Hayes is working on perfecting one element of technique, which he says is the crucial part of a throw that can make all the difference.

“It’s the start, if you mess the start up your throw is bad,” Hayes said. “A slight change in how you throw it can make a big difference in feet.”

During the  past four years Hayes has learned that discipline in practicing those details can make a big difference, both in throwing and on the gridiron.

Ultimately it is the love of the sport that has kept him coming back for more.

“It’s just fun to throw,” Hayes said.