Ryan Worster was already a good thrower in his junior year at Maranacook Community High School. With his senior year looming, Worster decided he didn’t want “good thrower” to be his legacy.

“My technique really needed to improve,” Worster said.

Last summer, Worster attended a throwing camp at Bates College, and set about the business of getting better. At the Class C state meet June 1 at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, it paid off.

Seeded second in the discus and shot put, Worster took home state championships in both. His winning discus throw of 147 feet, 8 inches was more than 31 feet better than his effort at the 2018 state meet. In the shot put, Worster added almost 15 feet to his 2018 state meet throw, going 53-5.75.

“I can’t honestly tell you what possessed him that day,” Maranacook track and field coach Ronn Gifford said. “It all came together.”

With a pair of state championships to his credit, Worster is the Kennebec Journal Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Erskine’s Jack Jowett, who won the Class B javelin championship, was also considered.

To Worster, throwing is a passion.

“The feeling, the explosion of power when you throw,” Worster said. “You probably heard me yelling. It’s primal. I’m trying to get as much power as I can. It’s that feeling of throwing something farther than everybody else I love.”

As a junior, Worster placed sixth in the discus at the state meet and 13th in the shot put. He knew he could do better.

“He devoted himself to the technique,” said Maranacook throwing coach Mark Dennett said of Worster. “It was a lot of different little pieces we put together. He put in the work.”

Worster’s first chance to throw competitively this spring came in the Husky Throwdown at Maine Central Institute April 27. He threw the shot 46-6.25, winning by two and a half feet. Worster set personal records in the shot and discus on that wet day.

“I said, ‘Hey, this might be working,'” Worster said.

Gifford often spent practice time working with Maranacook’s pole vaulters. He’d be working late with them, but glance up the hill and there was Worster, still throwing.

“I think in his mind he was thinking, I want to be in the upper 40s, low 50s in shot and 140s, 150s in discus, and I’m not there yet,” Gifford said. “Ryan, from a personal standpoint, he’s just one of those kids. He’s taken the throwing team under his wing the last few years. The last two years, if not three, he’s been the guy.”

Worster went into the state meet with modest goals.

“If I can podium, that would be fantastic. I was seeded second, so I said, all right, let’s let it go,” Worster said.

Discus was first, and Worster knew with his first throw, he was on.

“I knew that I was all right,” he said.

Added Gifford: “The discus set him up mentally. He had that under his belt, so when he got to the shot, he could literally let it fly.”

Worster competed at the New England championship at Thornton Academy in Saco in shot put and discus. He went in to the meet with no expectations. He fouled on his three shot throws, and placed 15th in the discus, squarely in the middle of the pack.

“It was a lot of fun. It was really cool to see the competition,” Worster said.

Worster plans to attend the University of Maine and study civil engineering. With a tough course load, he’s leaning toward not joining the track and field team.

“I was thinking of track, but the time commitment is a concern,” Worster said.

If Worster decides to join the Maine Black Bears, it will be much like his time as a Maranacook Black Bear. Being a good thrower won’t be good enough.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM






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