Josh Price sets personal record, wins MAIS Class AAA shot put championship

Published 12:29 am Saturday, May 7, 2016

JACKSON — Josh Price might have been able to do better. He has done better, he admitted. At the end of the day, however, he didn’t care all that much. The result was the same — ascending to the top of the podium to receive a gold medal.

Price, a senior at St. Aloysius, won the MAIS Class AAA boys’ shot put championship with a throw of 50 feet, 4 ¼ inches Friday at the state meet at Jackson Academy.

“It’s a PR (personal record) for a meet, but in practice I was throwing 52, 53. I’m happy with it. I can’t complain,” Price said with a grin.

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Price won fairly easily to even his power sports duel with Garrett McManus. The Silliman Institute thrower beat Price in the discus Friday morning, with a heave of 131 feet, 11 inches to Price’s mark of 128 feet, 9 inches.

They sat around for about five hours for the rematch in the shot ring, and Price got the upper hand then. His fourth attempt was the winner, but most of his six throws were better than McManus’ second-place distance of 48 feet, 4 inches. Price’s worst throw was 46 feet.

“I had to front a couple and then go all out. Coach told me to rip it,” Price said.

Getting the state title in the final event of his career was nice, Price said. He’d reached the MHSAA Class 1A meet in both the shot and discus in 2013, 2014 and 2015, but only had one medal to show for it — a silver in the discus last year. His best finish in the shot put was fourth place, also last year.

“It’s always nice to come out here and win it, and compete. That’s what it’s all about is just competing and becoming a state champion,” Price said.

St. Al won the MHSAA Class 1A boys and girls team championships last year, but will likely not repeat the feat in its first year as a member of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. It only had three athletes — Price and Jalen Whitaker, who finished fourth in the shot put, as well as Olivia Curtis in the girls’ high jump — competing in Friday’s field events.

Curtis finished third with a height of 5 feet. Centerville Academy’s Sydnie Lyons won with a height of 5 feet, 3 inches, and teammate Katie Lyn McDowell was second at 5 feet. McDowell beat Curtis for the silver medal based on the tiebreaker of fewer total misses.

“It was good for me. It was really good. And the competition has been a lot more competitive than it was when we were back in the other association,” Curtis said. “It’s my best. My PR this year.”

St. Al will be entered in 11 of the 14 running events when the meet resumes Saturday at Jackson Prep, but it faces a huge deficit that’s likely too large to overcome. Silliman leads the boys’ team standings with 85 points, Centerville Academy is second with 61, and St. Al is third with 29. Silliman and Centerville also have athletes entered in almost every event — multiple athletes in many cases — and thus will likely lose few points in the standings even if St. Al wins everything it’s competing in.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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