When Delta senior Kaitlyn Rawls finishes throwing at a track meet, David Rawls has two roles. He is her father, so part of his job is to provide emotional support, congratulating her on a successful mark or comforting her if the day hasn’t been as successful. But he’s also the Eagles’ throwing coach, so his job includes providing the constructive criticism expected of a coach. He seems to be balancing the two roles well.
“It just comes together,” he said. “I’m out there, I feel like I’m her biggest fan out there. Even when she was throwing in middle school, and her first couple years in high school, I was always coaching her (unofficially). I was a shot and discus thrower as well and so I’ve always been coaching her. It blends and I don’t know what the difference is between the two of them.”
Kaitlyn Rawls won the shot put and discus at Saturday’s Southside Invitational. She turned in a personal record of 37-feet-3½-inches in the shot put, and she won the discus with a throw of 118-2. While the discus throw wasn’t a personal record, she improved that record on Thursday, so she seems to be making progress in both events. And her discus win Saturday was convincing, topping the second-place competitor by almost 25 feet.
“It’s a great season,” she said. “I always get down on myself if I don’t get a PR. Because I know it’s obviously not the best I could have done. I’m just going to keep pushing forward. I just think that my form is finally starting to come together.”
Kaitlyn Rawls seems to agree that her father has balanced his two jobs well. The pair continue to focus on her improvement, with Kaitlyn Rawls hoping to break school records and pursue postseason success.
“He’s had a really good balance of it,” she said. “He’s very encouraging, definitely. I also think it’s due in part that he knows that after I’ve thrown … I can’t change that. But he has a good balance of it, of when to be a coach and when to be a dad.”
Yorktown won the team title, its first Southside Invitational triumph since 2009. Jay County won the past four. The Tigers finished with 128 points, and the Patriots were close behind in second with 122 points.
Central finished fourth with 75½ points, and Delta was sixth with 54. Shenandoah took seventh with 22½, Southside was eighth at 18, and Wapahani posted 12 points to finish ninth.
A’Dreana Howard-Anderson won the 800 and long jump to lead the Tigers. Yorktown’s Brandi Claxton won the 200, teammate Kendall Murr won the 400 and Sarah Hazen won the 3,200. The Tigers also won the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. The 1,600 relay was the last event of the meet, and all four Tigers in the race (Howard-Anderson, Claxton, Carly Trulock and Murr) were running their fourth event of the day.
“All of them were maxed out, and they still came up with a huge win there at the end to kind of cement it for us,” Yorktown coach Jared Turner said. “So that was kind of symbolic of the entire meet, right there.”
Jay County’s Tasya Smith also among the individual winners from East Central Indiana, winning the 100. Delta’s Rebekah Box won the 300 hurdles.
The Central boys finished fourth at the Lime City Relays hosted by Huntington North. The Bearcats’ Darrius Connell won the shot put, the only Central athlete to win an individual event. Zach Baird, Devrin Stone, Earren Young and Timmric Barrett combined to bring the Bearcats two relay wins, teaming up both the sprint medley and 400 relays.
“It was huge for us,” Central coach Jason Wray said of his team’s performance. “We don’t give ourselves enough credit, I think we’re better than we think we are.”