Taking her shot (put)

Junior Kyla Gibson, varsity shot put and discus thrower, shares season highs

Gibson+competes+in+the+Dripping+Springs+meet+on+Feb.+28%2C+where+she+threw+her+personal+record.+On+March+9%2C+she+beat+her+record+again+during+the+Saint+Andrews+meet+by+throwing+26%E2%80%999.25.+
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Taking her shot (put)

Gibson competes in the Dripping Springs meet on Feb. 28, where she threw her personal record. On March 9, she beat her record again during the Saint Andrews meet by throwing 26’9.25.

Gibson competes in the Dripping Springs meet on Feb. 28, where she threw her personal record. On March 9, she beat her record again during the Saint Andrews meet by throwing 26’9.25.

Gabby Sherwood

Gibson competes in the Dripping Springs meet on Feb. 28, where she threw her personal record. On March 9, she beat her record again during the Saint Andrews meet by throwing 26’9.25.

Gabby Sherwood

Gabby Sherwood

Gibson competes in the Dripping Springs meet on Feb. 28, where she threw her personal record. On March 9, she beat her record again during the Saint Andrews meet by throwing 26’9.25.

Kristen Tibbetts, staff reporter

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The Shield: When did you first start shot put and discus?

Kyla Gibson: I started freshman year. I had never done it before. They were like, “Hey, you look pretty strong; let’s see how you do”. From then on, I got pretty decent at it.

TS: What was your inspiration? How did you get into it?

KG: An old coach who used to go here, Coach Stanchec, and Coach Broadbeck. I did volleyball, and Coach Broadbeck told me “You seem pretty strong and you have a lot of strength in your legs. Let’s try it out.” After that, I was like, “OK, it’s not that bad.” I talked to my mom, and she told me that she used to these events. It’s kind of cute [that] we both did it at the same time.

TS: You said you’ve been on the team since freshman year. Did you start on JV and move up from there?

KG: Yeah, I started on the JV [team]. In sophomore year, Coach told me, “Congratulations, you’ve been moved up. You’ve proved yourself.”

TS: What are practices like?

KG: We usually warm up with the runners, so we do dynamic stretching. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Fridays, we go into the shed downstairs, grab our shots and do more dynamic warm-ups. We throw behind us to see how far we can throw, we practice the movements and then we get in the ring and go all out.

I did volleyball, and Coach Broadbeck told me ‘You seem pretty strong and you have a lot of strength in your legs. Let’s try it out.’”

— Kyla Gibson

TS: I know the meets are really long, so how do you warm up beforehand?

KG: Well, we have to be here at 6 a.m. sometimes, and we don’t get to the event until like 7 or 8, depending on how far away it is. We have about 30 minutes to warm up, and then they’re like, “Alright, varsity girls, let’s go!”

TS: How is the event scored?

KG: There’s a guy or girl with a clipboard there. The only time that [the throw] doesn’t count is if it goes outside of the ring or if you step into the ring. You have to enter through the back and exit from the back. If you don’t, they yell “scratch,” and it doesn’t count. It can either be your worst throw or your best throw, so it kind of sucks.

TS: What is your goal for this season?

KG: I’m trying to reach 30 [feet] this year. Last year my final throw, my PR, was 26 something, and [this year] I’m starting off at 26. So I’m going to the weight room and lifting; hopefully, I’ll get up to 30.

TS: I heard that at the [Dripping Springs] meet you threw your personal record. Can you walk me through that event?

KG: I was honestly surprised. Like, I hadn’t thrown in months. I was watching the other girls throw [in practice,] and some of them were throwing 30 feet easily. I was thinking, “I’m the smallest one here, both height and size-wise. But it doesn’t matter.” My coach was there, and he told me just to throw: “Put all of your muscles into it, and you’ve got it.” So I got up there and I was like, “Alright, that wasn’t bad.” I was just aiming for the first line, and I ended up getting it a little bit past. I was like, “Okay, I reached that goal, so maybe I can make it to the middle.” What also helped me was that all the people that were throwing really well in practice did not do as well during the actual meet. I was told that I PRed, and I looked online to see my scores from last year, and I increased by like two feet. I was like, “I haven’t even lifted or worked out for that event in a while.” So, throwing two feet more… I was ecstatic.

Something that I’d tell freshmen or anyone who hasn’t done it is that it’s all okay. You’re not going to be the strongest, you’re not going to be the tallest, not going to be the biggest, but don’t let them underestimate you.”

— Kyla Gibson

TS: What’s something that people might not know about the differences between shot put and discus?

KG: One thing that people don’t really know is that the footwork is kind of the same. In shot put you can do a spin, but I do a kickback. The spin is complicated, and I’m gonna fall. The footwork is actually similar, but shot put is more with your legs, and discus is more with your whole body.

TS: Would you say you enjoy shot put more?

KG: Yes, definitely. One good thing is that I’ve made a lot of friends with people from different schools so I can be like, “Hey, I don’t know what I’m doing,” and they’ll be like, “Me either.” [laughs]

TS: What advice would you give to the freshmen doing into these events?

KG: Something that I’d tell freshmen or anyone who hasn’t done it is that it’s all okay. You’re not going to be the strongest, you’re not going to be the tallest, not going to be the biggest, but don’t let them underestimate you. A lot of people that are really small could throw like 34 feet! Just don’t worry about the others, you’ve got it.

TS: What has been your proudest moment from this season and previous years?

KG: In freshman year it was placing in district. I had never done it before, and then I ended up getting second. Last year I ended up placing seventh in district and wasn’t expecting it at all. For this year, it was PRing.

TS: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

KG: If you do track, try to do shot put!

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