May 9, 2013

Blackmar ready for state track meet

Recruiting is catching Blake Blackmar in a tough spot. While he's dealing with a multitude of college coaches, he's also preparing for the Class 5A state track and field meet.

His passion has been in the shot put, but he's in Austin because of the way he threw the discus. Two weeks ago, the Houston Clear Lake product, finished second in the Region III meet with a personal-best effort of 167 feet, 6 inches. He's seeded seventh in Saturday's 1 p.m. event at the University of Texas' Myers Stadium.

"I'm definitely going for [a state title],'' the Baylor offensive line target said. "I started taking the discus more serious this year. Really, I was better at the shot. But I have a chance.''

There are nine competitors. The separation between Blackmar's effort and the top throw is about 20 feet. But most of field is sandwiched within eight feet of each other. Of course, those numbers could prove irrelevant. The winds and potential thunderstorms in Central Texas may impact everything.

Despite a district-best throw of 55-10, Blackmar scratched in the shot at this year's district track meet and didn't qualify. Discus emerged as his only chance to advance. And he did so with an effort of a little more than 160 feet.

Focusing on the discus, Blackmar reviewed tapes and worked on his form. He spent a lot of time with his coaches making sure he could extend his arms so he would have a better release.

"I was pretty upset about the shot,'' Blackmar said. "I've done so much to get ready. But I'm pretty happy about the way I've been preparing and working on it.''

At regionals, he gradually worked his way up through the event. He started at 138, extended to 160, scratched on his third and then came up with the big one which was good enough to qualify.

Actually, Blackmar has thrown better than 167-7. He delivered a throw of 171 feet at a practice in March.

Should the weather play a factor, the distance of the throws likely will be impacted. Blackmar thinks a state-winning throw will be in the mid-170s.

"All of us are going to be one big stage,''
he said. "It really depends on who shows up.''

Now, as for his recruiting, Blackmar recently met with Baylor assistants Carlton Buckels and Randy Clements.

Texas is trying to jump in. The Longhorns have asked him to come by and visit them before he checks into his Austin hotel. There are plans for him to do that, but Texas has not offered yet.

"I like Baylor a lot,'' he said. "They are one of my top schools. We'll see what happens. But I'm probably going to wait until summer.''

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