Wilson's throws brought down records, brought home titles
Put a discus in Shannon Wilson's hands, and there's a good chance she'll come home with gold.
She did at the Class 4A state meet, and even toppled all comers at the Meet of Champions. She's the queen of the discus in Oklahoma, but ask the Plainview graduate about her feats in the ring this year and she'll tell you it was all expected.
The All-Ardmoreite Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year knew the discus throw was hers and hers alone, almost guaranteed points for a Plainview team that scored a variety of ways this season.
"I was a lot more relaxed," Wilson said of her dominant season. "If I'm the oldest, I just feel more relaxed because I'm more experienced."
A returning state champion in the 3A discus throw, Wilson powered to her second consecutive state title in the same event — this time in 4A. On a windy day at Ardmore's Noble Stadium, it was Wilson's winning throw of 135 feet, 5 inches that set the stage for Plainview's run to a second-place finish to Vinita in the team standings.
Wilson's throw wasn't her best, but it was nearly 9 feet better than second place.
"We faced some pretty tough conditions and she responded by making some pretty good throws," Plainview coach Jerry Naylor said. "Those are conditions you can fold up in if you're not a good discus thrower. It was a pretty good kickoff to our state meet."
"She was the best discus thrower in the state all year long. She pretty well established herself as being the best discus thrower in all classes."
Wilson said some nerves did kick in when she arrived at the Meet of Champions — a gathering of all the state title winner regardless of class — but she was still able to come through with a toss of 144-6 3/4 to beat Bre Davis of 5A's Piedmont (144-1).
"In discus I was pretty confident until I got there, and there was a girl that threw 5 inches under me, so I was pretty nervous for that," Wilson said. "In shot put I was just gonna try my best. I didn't know what was gonna happen."
Wilson exceeded her expectations in the shot, placing second overall with a throw of 41-11, more than 4 feet better than her toss at state which earned her fourth in 4A. Wilson was the 3A state state champion in the shot put as a junior.
Besides being able to outthrow a majority of her peers, however, honesty is also one of Wilson's best qualities.
"The girl that beat me (at Meet of Champions) is just better at shot put than I am," Wilson said.
Naylor said that Wilson's work in the shot put shouldn't be overlooked because of the way she steamrolled through the discus this season. Wilson's shot put throw at the Meet of Champions set a school record.
Wilson is considering walking on at the University of Oklahoma. She graduated from Plainview with school records in both the shot put and discus.
"She threw farther than she's ever thrown at the Meet of Champions," Naylor said of Wilson in the shot put. "She was farther in the shot this year than she's ever been, she just went up against three or four girls that could really throw."
Even though she was confident she could repeat as a state champion, Wilson didn't coast as a senior, working hard throughout the season on both events. Since her sophomore year, she's traveled to Tulsa twice a month to train with throwing coach Caleb Seal.
Add that to the detailed conversations with her parents about her technique and the tutelage of Naylor, it's not hard to see how Wilson's final season turned out to be a special one.
"It was really good because all the other years if I threw, I would throw my best and then get worse at every meet," Wilson said of her senior year. "This year I just got better every time."
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