Benefield: Middletown senior throwing everything he's got into discus, shot put
Bryson Trask, who has been a Mustang all of three months now, already owns the Middletown High School discus and shot put records. And he currently owns — by a long shot — the top discus throw and best shot put mark of the early track and field season of any athlete in the North Coast Section.
He ranks 16th on the all-time Redwood Empire list for shot put and is fourth on the discus list with a personal best of 176 feet, 3 inches that he reached at the Honker Mini Invite in Yuba City on Feb. 23. It’s been 37 years since a Redwood Empire athlete has thrown the discus farther.
Statewide, Trask is ranked sixth in the discus and his put of 55 feet, 5 inches at Santa Rosa High’s Big Cat meet last week ranks him 10th in the state in shot put.
It’s an impressive resume at just the start of his senior campaign, and yet there’s one stat — the ranking of sixth in the state in discus — that is apparently a burr in Trask’s side.
“He doesn’t like being sixth,” Middletown track and field coach Don Cobb said. “We have given him some good grief.”
This is a guy that is eyeing the top spot.
And his national ranking of 13th in discus? That, too, is no good.
“I’m expecting that to go back up,” Trask said.
Trask is not an athlete who lacks confidence in his abilities.
When asked what makes him good, he responded that it was like asking what made Michael Jordan good.
“In the end, it’s always hard work,” he said.
“I won’t tell you he’s humble, but he’s easy to coach,” Cobb said.
And part of that is poking Trask a little.
“We don’t coddle him,” Cobb said. “He runs in the rain with us.”
In addition to ribbing Trask about his current standing among California’s elite throwers, coaches have gone one better — challenging Trask to become the first boy in Lake County history, in any sport, to win an individual state championship.
“We put that out there for Bryson,” Cobb said. “He’s said, ‘I’m all in.’”
Trask makes no bones about wanting to be a state champ.
“Am I going to be that first boy? I don’t know,” he said. “Is it on my radar? Yeah. Is it going to happen? I don’t control that.”
A key indicator of his chances may well be at the massive Arcadia Invitational on April 5-6, where he can expect a seasoned crop of competitors.
“That will be a big debut for a lot of top-level throwers who have been holding back. Their numbers are going to be big,” Trask said.
But Trask’s numbers, especially in the discus, have already been big. The school record in discus before Trask broke it? 142 feet, 9 inches, set in 2009. In shot put? It was 45 feet, 9 inches — set in 2012, according to Cobb. Trask crushed them.
And Cobb said his athlete put up truly massive throws in training.