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Examiner
  • Fort's Cole aims for huge throws, state titles

  • Sharon Cole, the activities director at the Blue Springs Freshman Center, was serving as the public address announcer at last Saturday’s Class 3 and 4 sectional track and field meet at Blue Springs High School.

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  • Sharon Cole, the activities director at the Blue Springs Freshman Center, was serving as the public address announcer at last Saturday’s Class 3 and 4 sectional track and field meet at Blue Springs High School.
    A student runner would bring the results to the press box, and she would announce all finalists, along with the four athletes who would advance to Friday and Saturday’s Missouri State Track and Field Championships in Jefferson City.
    She was handed the results from the girls discus when she got on her two-way radio to make sure the figures were right.
    “I couldn’t believe it,” Cole said as the results showed Fort Osage standout Asia Cole (no relation) with a winning throw of 47 feet, 2.5 inches.
    That smashed the 11-year-old mark (43-9.5) of Blue Springs graduate, UCLA All-American and Olympian Valeyta Althouse by more than four feet.
    “And you know what’s scary?” asked Fort Osage coach J.D. Snead. “She threw 51 feet in the prelims. She’s thrown 52 in practice. She doesn’t even know how good she can be, and she’s just a junior. I can’t wait to see how good she is by the time she graduates.
    “Like the young lady from Blue Springs, who Asia broke her record, I think we’re going to see Asia in the Olympics one day.”
    Not bad for a performer who has never stepped in a weight room.
    Huh?
    “I don’t lift weights,” Asia Cole said. “People come up to me all the time – even guys – and ask what I can bench. I don’t know what I can bench because I don’t lift weights.”
    When Cole arrives in the throwing pit, she is greeted with a reverence she now accepts with a smile.
    “It’s like totally quiet, dead silence, when I get ready to throw,” Cole said. “It took me a while to get used to that. You can hear the people, ‘There’s Asia Cole,’ comments like that, but when I throw, I know everyone is watching. And I’m fine with that. I want to give them something special to see.”
    Snead says Cole is a natural, and the field events in track and field aren’t the only sports she excels in for the Indians.
    “At a school our size, we need kids to play multiple sports, and Asia plays basketball and volleyball,” Snead said. “When I tell other coaches that, they don’t believe me. She medaled as a freshman and won both events last year as a sophomore.
    “We’re hoping to see one of those 50-plus efforts in the shot this weekend and the sky’s the limit in the discus.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Cole finished fourth in the discus as sectionals, but that was by design.
    “If I won, great,” she said, “but all I wanted to do in either event was get in the top four and go on to state. I was very happy with my throw in the shot and it’s an honor to break a record once held by a former Olympian.
    “But I want my best throws to be at state, and that’s what I’m going to be working on all week.”
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
     
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