Scheels Athlete of the Week: West High's Senior Haight Off to Strong Start


Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – Competing at her home meet in familiar surrounding in front of her friends and family West High senior Chandler Haight was comfortable on Wednesday at the Women of Troy Relays.

Well, kind of comfortable.

As comfortable as a thrower can be in cool, wet weather.

“I was semi-comfortable,” Haight said. “Not as comfortable as I could be in perfect weather, but as much as I could be in this weather.”

Some rain may have kept Haight from achieving complete comfortability on Wednesday but it didn’t seem to affect her performance.

Haight swept the throwing events the season-opening meet to help West High roll to the team title at its own meet.

“Today, I was just trying to use the ground for me, instead of against me, with the wetness and the rain,” Haight said. “I was just trying to do the best that I can under the circumstances that we had.”

Haight was impressive in less than ideal conditions.

Her throw of 42-11 was a half inch off the best mark in the state this spring and was more than five feet better than teammate Salima Omari who was runner-up.

She added a title in the discus with a toss of 107-9.

“I’m really pleased with a 42-11 in our first outdoor meet and she also won the discus on a day that it is tough to do the discus,” West High coach Mike Parker said. “It was almost dark by the time they were doing the discus, we don’t have any lights over there, but we got through it. To be a double winner her senior year at our home meet, I’m very proud of her.”

Haight has climbed closer to a state title in the shot put each of the past three seasons.

After placing 21st in her first trip to state as a freshman Haight was third as a sophomore and finished runner-up last spring.

A Drake recruit, Haight wants to continue that ascent this season.

“She was the runner-up at state last year and she doesn’t want to be the runner-up this year,” Parker said. “Her vision is winning. She wants to join her two older sisters who have both won titles for us in the shot put and I think she’s on course to do that.”

Haight certainly appeared on track to reach that goal in her first outdoor performance of the season.

The winning throw of 42-11 was more than seven inches better than her runner-up toss at the state meet a year ago.

“I’m trying to work more on my weights and trying to build up the amount of weights to build up muscle and then try to work out the little kinks in the form,” Haight said. “I just want to try to get it right so by the end of the season, I’m at the best I can be.”

The strong start of Haight came despite a lack of outdoor practice time.

Snow last weekend limited West High to just one outdoor practice in what were less than ideal conditions.

“We’ve only had one day that we were able to practice outside, in the rain,” Haight said. “It was hailing that day and we only did discus.”

Even with the early season hurdles Haight believes she is on track to meet her lofty senior season goals.

“My goals for this season are, to try to do the best that I can, and PR of course, and try to do it at the best time of the season, towards the end, and do well in state and Drake, and also at discus too.