Chris Cubra would love to see a meet record in the shot put splashed across Reynolds’ new Jumbotron scoreboard on Saturday.
But there is still some question whether the latest addition to Dalton Stadium will be fully operational in time for the Blue Ridge Classic. More than 1,500 athletes are expected for Western Carolina’s largest annual track meet.
There is, however, no doubt in the mind of Rockets boys coach Buck Buchanan that the aforementioned record (53 feet, 9 inches) is in serious jeopardy.
After all, it is well under Cubra’s best throw from earlier this season (56-7.75).
Cubra has committed to Brown, and in addition to the shot put, the senior also own the top discus mark in Western North Carolina (160-11) this spring.
“Chris may not only break our school record in the shot put (57-0.5) by the time everything is said and done, he may smash it,” Buchanan said.
“He’s thrown 59-5 in warm-ups lately. Whenever you are throwing like he is, you’re in the hunt for a state championship.”
Cubra’s full attention is on Saturday’s meet right now. In addition to the competition itself, he expects to lead a devotional before the meet.
“I’ve got my eyes on that record, for sure,” Cubra said.
“Most of all, I’m just looking forward to some good competition. I’m definitely happy with my season so far.”
Cubra took up the throws in the sixth grade to emulate his older brother, Kenny. And for a few years, Cubra was the understudy to former state champion Courtland Clavette, who is a sophomore at Brown. Clavette holds the school records in the shot and discus (184-3).
The two stay in frequent contact, and like Clavette, Cubra is learning what it’s like to be the favorite at most high school meets he attends, especially the local ones.
“Just knowing that people look up to me is a nice feeling,” Cubra said.
“I like the competition for sure and it’s given me a platform to spread the gospel. That has truly been my favorite thing.”
Buchanan admires the way that Cubra approaches the sport.
“There is no doubt that Courtland was focused, but Chris might be the most focused of anyone I’ve ever seen on every throw he does,” Buchanan said.
“He’ll throw and then obsess over what he could have done differently. He is going to do some pretty big things.”
Reynolds began installing the Jumbotron at Dalton over the winter. Booster club president Tim Towery declined to provide a specific cost for the project, but said it was “close to six figures.”
The booster club footed the entire bill for the Jumbotron. It will have the capability to carry a live video feed, but it is more likely that the screen will be used for advertising and taped segments, Towery said.