JAY DAVIS: Roberts is greatest discus thrower in S.D. history

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I am not one to usually be too melodramatic. But today, hyperbolizing about the discus career of Daniel Roberts is quite called for.

I hope you didn’t stay at home or stay at work or just have your back turned at the wrong time while Roberts was throwing at Tiger Stadium the last four years. If you did, you missed what just might be the greatest discus-throwing career in the 107-year history of South Dakota track and field.

Roberts ends his career with the second and third longest throws in state history. The 192-foot, 5.5 inch throw from last year is ranked second. The state meet record 191-10 he threw Friday is ranked third. Only the 211-4 thrown by George Amundson in 1969 gets to be above Roberts.

But, before we stop talking about top throws you have to understand only a thrower’s best distance of the season is a part of the rankings. The 190-11 Roberts threw last year would rank sixth all-time. The 188-9 he threw earlier this would rank eighth all-time.

No other discus thrower in state history has ever thrown the discus farther than 190 feet more than once in their career, including Amundson. Throwing more than 190 feet just once were Jason Long of Harding County (191-8 in 1993), Cody Snyder of Andes Central (191-6 in 2010) and Gary Schwartz of Wessington Springs (190-7.5 in 1962).

Count that out and 190 feet has been topped a mere seven times and Roberts has three of the seven.

The Tigers’ own Billy Hardcastle joins the top 10 list in eighth at 187-7. Remember how great Hardcastle was? Roberts beat his record four times, count them, four times, on Friday alone!

Along with winning the state championship and the gold medal this weekend, Roberts took second last year, second as a sophomore and fifth as a freshman.

A person can’t be wrong if he wants to call Roberts the greatest discus thrower in South Dakota history. You would have to talk yourself blue in the face to try and disprove this and claim another thrower was better.

Ever.

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