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Mingus Union athlete of the week: Junior Streck aims to improve on his school shot record, take State

Mingus Union junior Kendrew Streck set the school record in the shot put last week and is ranked first in the state in that event and sixth in the discus (VVN/Halie Chavez)

Mingus Union junior Kendrew Streck set the school record in the shot put last week and is ranked first in the state in that event and sixth in the discus (VVN/Halie Chavez)

Although Mingus Union track and field junior Kendrew Streck was in a bit of a slump — well by his standards — last week he called his shot.

At the Peoria Invite on Mar. 30, Streck asked MUHS throwers coach Lauren Adams Thagard to record his shot put throw and he broke out of the slump in a big way.

Streck broke the 12-year-old school record of James Paisano (49-8) with a throw of 50-feet, 10-inches. Then for good measure he eclipsed 50 foot mark three more times.

“He’s been doing awesome,” Thagard said. “This is my first year coaching track and it’s been a really long time since I’ve been involved in track, probably since high school, but he’s been really awesome to work with because he’s super motivated and he’s very driven to beat himself, so he’s not just competing against other people in meets, he’s competing to do better than his last meet.”

He won Mingus Union male athlete of the month for March.

Streck is ranked first in shot put in the state, by over two feet and sixth in the discus.

His sister Kylie was a track and field star at Mingus Union and his brother in law Brady Maska was an All-American thrower in college. Streck was athlete of the week for football in the fall.

“He makes it really easy for me to just show up and cheer him on because he works so hard and he’s got some family background in a brother who’s thrown in college for track and field,” Thagard said. “I just feel like I show up to cheerlead and just keep him motivated if I can.”

Last year Streck finished ninth in the state in the shot put and 12th in the discus, in his first year competing at the high school level.

“For his division, I think that he can win a state championship easily in both events,” Thagard said. “Shot put’s definitely the thing he’s keyed in with best right now but if we can connect a few dots for the discus and kinda put some of the things together, get all of his steps down and his release right, I don’t see why he wouldn’t and couldn’t win or beat top three in both events, if not number one.”

VVN: What went through your mind on the record throw last week?

Streck: I’m not sure, I’ve just been not throwing very good in my last meets and I was just kinda in a slump. I told Ms. Thagard: “I’m really feeling this throw, can you record it?” and then I hit it and then my next three throws I hit all over 50s. So I got out of my slump and then this practice has been good. So my mindset has been different I guess, these last few weeks I’ve been more committed.

VVN: At what point when you have a throw like that do you know it’s a really good one? Do you know before they measure or when you’re doing it?

Streck: When I first threw it I didn’t really know, you know, like I didn’t know it was a good throw, but now that I have the feeling of my 50 pluses, I know what it feels like. So when I feel it out of my hand, I’ll know if it’s a good throw or not.

VVN: How’s the season been going overall for you do you think?

Streck: It’s been going pretty good. This year I’ve just been more focused. Last year I wasn’t too focused. I’m just focused in shot put now, trying to take the state championship.

VVN: So are you just throwing this year? Not doing sprints again?

Streck: Yeah, mostly just throwing, sticking to that. It’s nice to have Ms. Thagard, she really cares and watches everyone throw. She’s been helping out a lot.

VVN: How much do you think you’ve grown in your high school career?

Streck: I think I’ve grown good. I definitely got more strength than I had last year and that helps to the ring but Ms. Thagard’s also been helping me on my form, recording my throws and helping.

VVN: How long have you been throwing?

Streck: I’ve only thrown my sophomore year in high school and then seventh and eighth grade. I took my freshman year off after I tore my ACL in basketball.

VVN: What’s your favorite event to do?

Streck: Umm, it used to be discus, but since I’ve gotten better in shot put, I’ve grown to like shot put a lot more.

VVN: For you personally, how do they compare? Those two events?

Streck: Hmm, I don’t know, discus is just a lot more technique. With shot put it’s also technique, but I just feel a lot more comfortable with shot put.

VVN: With the school record down, what other goals do you have left for this year?

Streck: Just getting that record higher, trying to PR more, getting ready for next year, you know? I just want to get that state championship.

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