Clovis senior closing in on school mark in shot

Staff photo: Andy DeLisle Michael Cohen practice the shot Thursday before the district track meet.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Michael Cohen is looking ahead — 57 feet, 4 inches to be exact.

That would be a Clovis High record for the shot put, and it’s one of Cohen’s few unmet goals as he looks to help the Wildcat track team at Saturday’s District 4-5A meet.

Field events start 3 p.m. today, and running events start at 6 p.m.

Cohen, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound senior, first started throwing in the seventh grade. He was throwing about 33 feet in his eighth-grade year and has consistently improved since then to where he’s consistently near 55 feet.

He’s second in state behind Alamogordo’s Michael Gerber, who posted a distance of 59-4 during the Alamogordo Qualifier last month.

Clovis coach Darren Kelley admitted it would probably take a bad day from Gerber for Cohen to have a chance at first place, but coaches have been impressed with how Cohen has given them quality points (first or second every meet) and that he’s constantly setting new goals after he breaks old ones.

“He’s done a great job this year,” Kelley said. “He’s going to have to throw well to have a shot.”

As far as this weekend’s meet, Kelley said, he figures he’ll get points from Cohen and others, but he hopes David Segovia (300-meter hurdles), Brendan Baker (pole vault), Colt Merron (100-meter) and the medley relay team can qualify, either by hitting qualifying marks or taking one of the top two places.

As far as the team points, Kelley pictures tight race.

“I think it’s going to be a close track meet all the way down to the end,” Kelley said.

In his time coaching at Clovis, Kelley said a district meet is not a great litmus test for success at state. In district, the point is a large amount of athletes scoring points. At state, Kelley said, the focus is on quality because an athlete who wins events is more valuable because points spread between 15-20 teams.

Cohen wants to be on the medal stand at state (top three), but he’d also like to break the Clovis High mark of 57-3 1/2, set in 2004 by Charles Purdy.

“We talked about it the other day,” Cohen said. “He told me to keep working. He jokingly told me not to break it, but I think he’d be excited for me.”

District 4-5A track meet
At Leon Williams Stadium
Field events
3 p.m. — girls high jump, girls triple jump, girls discus, boys pole vault, boys long jump, boys shot put, boys javelin.
4 p.m. — girls long jump, girls pole vault, girls javelin, girls shot put, boys discus, boys high jump, boys triple jump
Track events
4:10 p.m. — girls and boys 3,200
6 p.m. — girls 400 relay
6:10 p.m. — boys 400 relay
6:25 p.m. — girls 100 hurdles
6:45 p.m. — boys 110 hurdles
7 p.m. — girls 100
7:15 p.m. — boys 100
7:30 p.m. — girls 800
7:40 p.m. — boys 800
7:50 p.m. — girls 800 relay
8 p.m. — boys 800 relay
8:10 p.m. — girls 400
8:20 p.m. — boys 400
8:35 p.m. — girls 300 hurdles
8:45 p.m. — boys 300 hurdles
8:55 p.m. — girls 1,600 medley relay
9:05 p.m. — boys 1,600 medley relay
9:15 p.m. — girls 200
9:25 p.m. — boys 200
9:35 p.m. — BREAK
9:50 p.m. — girls 1,600
10:05 p.m. — boys 1,600
10:10 p.m. — girls 1,600 relay
10:20 p.m. — boys 1,600 relay