DeSoto shot putter finding his feet

State champ knows better technique can take him farther

12:48 AM CST on Tuesday, March 21, 2006

By BRANDON GEORGE / The Dallas Morning News

DESOTO DeSoto senior Jason Guillory said he relies too much on his size and strength in the shot put.

That's easy to do when you're 6-4 and 335 pounds. Guillory has the power to ignore proper technique in the shot put and still out-throw most competitors.

But Guillory wants more. And he knows if he's to accomplish his goal this season of hitting 65 feet, Guillory will need to use more than his muscle.

"Your technique is the most important key in shot put, and it doesn't matter as much about how big and strong you are," Guillory said. "I'm still trying to work on getting my legs underneath me and using them more."

Guillory won the Class 5A state championship last season in the shot put and finished second in the discus. He's off to a fast start this season. Almost two weeks ago, Guillory set a personal best in the shot put with a state-leading heave of 61 feet, 11 inches. Guillory ranks third in the area in the discus with a throw of 164-8.

On Saturday, Guillory will compete against the area's top throwers at the 42nd Jesuit-Sheaner Relays at Jesuit's Haggar Stadium.

"Jesuit is a motivating meet for him because you compete against some of the best throwers around," DeSoto coach Mark Brady said. "Jason is a competitor. He doesn't like losing, that's for sure. When it's time to compete, he comes through. I don't think he's ever had a bad meet."

Guillory credits his success to his summer track coach, Michael Carter, who won a silver medal in the shot put at the 1984 Olympics and still holds the national high school record of 81-3 . Carter, a former NFL lineman, has coached Guillory since he started throwing in 1999.

Carter said Guillory is a driven competitor with a great work ethic.

"Jason is truly a hard worker, and that's one thing you like to see in the young kids," Carter said. "He doesn't like to lose. I don't care what drills we do, Jason likes to finish first. Because he's so big and strong, there are some things that just don't come easy for him. But I guarantee you if he ever bends and uses his legs, the shot will go a pretty good distance."

Going into the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays as the state leader in the shot put, Guillory can push himself by shooting for the meet record in the event. Carter just happens to own the meet record of 70- , a mark he set while at Thomas Jefferson in 1979.

"He teases me about that record all the time," Guillory said. "He says, 'Guess who has the record?' I would love to hit a 70-footer, and I do think about his record a lot, but what he did back then was phenomenal."

Guillory said he hopes to repeat as state champion in the shot put. Guillory said rainy weather has limited him to competing in the shot put only twice this season because of cancellations.

In the meets in which he's competed, Guillory has been all business.

"I'm getting my mind right and not playing around before meets," Guillory said. "I've been overemphasizing technique more early and I've been more intense in meets. It's paying off."


School: DeSoto

Class: Senior

Ht., Wt.: 6-4, 335

Notable: Guillory, an offensive lineman, has signed a football scholarship with Trinity Valley College. He's played football since he was 8. ... Guillory said his father, Paul, played nose tackle for Rice. ... Guillory said he's competed for his summer track team the Texas Throwbacks, coached by Michael Carter since 2002. He said Carter coached him as part of the DeSoto Roadrunners before then. ... Guillory has two older sisters, Kristen (a TCU graduate) and Danielle (a Rice graduate). ... Guillory said his personal best in the discus is more than 168 feet, but he's struggled this season to stay in the ring.

When/where: Saturday, 8 a.m. (field events), 9 a.m. (running preliminaries) and 2:30 p.m. (running finals), Jesuit's Haggar Stadium.

About the meet: Six of the state's top boys 1,600- and 3,200-meter runners will compete. Waco senior LaJerald Betters, the nation's top high school 400-meter runner and a Baylor signee, will headline strong 200- and 400-meter boys races. Ten of the area's and state's top girls distance runners will headline the girls 1,600-meter invitational race.



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