Going into his fourth and final discus throw at the LCAC meet on Friday at South Fort Myers High (Fla.), some people watching thought Jacob Lemmon was out of gas.
There was only one person that actually knew how much he had left in the tank: Jacob Lemmon.
The Fort Myers High standout and University of Virginia signee broke the FHSAA state record with that final attempt, throwing discus 209 feet, 6 inches, to smash the previous record of 203 feet, 6 inches.
Lemmon didn’t think he broke the record at first, but when his father screamed in excitement from a distance, Lemmon knew he had.
“I’ve won LCAC the last two years prior so that wasn’t too big of a deal,” Lemmon said. “The state record was the only thing in my mind at the time. I knew that I just had to hit a throw right and I would get it.”
The distance Lemmon needed was a little in question.
Charlotte’s Wesley Stockbarger set the record of 203-6 in 2004. But that appeared to be shattered in 2017 when Sebastian River’s Jarez Parks won the FHSAA state title with a throw of 210-5. The FHSAA record book still lists that as the mark to beat, but that throw was nullified sometime later after video showed Parks, now a linebacker at Alabama, had fouled, reverting it back to Stockbarger.
ALL-USA: Track and Field: Throws
“I was aiming for the guys standing out at 210 feet, and the throw actually felt pretty bad. I yelled in frustration after throwing it,” Lemmon said. “I only knew it was far when people out there started cheering.”
And just to make his day a little better, he also doubled up by winning the shot put with a throw of 57 feet, 3/4 inches.
Green Wave boys head coach Issac Harvin sees a lot of traits that he had as a sprinter at Cape Coral High School where he won a state title in the 200-meter dash in 1994. The extra effort that he would see Lemmon put in around his meets is what Harvin sees as the key to Lemmon being a state champion and new state record holder.
“We might as well give him keys to the facility because when we come back from track meets, he’ll get his gear and go out and practice,” Harvin said. “We were in Gainesville at the Pepsi Relays and as soon as we got back, he went out and did some more throwing. I tell the other guys, if you want to be like Jacob, follow his lead. If you want to be great, it takes that. I can’t say enough about him.”
Fort Myers junior distance runner Stephanie Ormsby says the most impressive attribute that Lemmon displays isn’t what he does in competition but with how he treats others.
“Jacob is just so incredible, and the coolest thing about him is that he is such a nice and humble person,” Ormsby said. “It’s like everyone is his friend. I love people like that who are so good but are so humble at the same time.”