Woodbridge’s Isaiah Simmons sets state record in shot put

February 25, 2011

Hollywood probably could not have scripted it better.

After apparently breaking the state meet record in the boys’ shot put and then being denied it moments later, Isaiah Simmons made sure he got certified at the Virginia AAA indoor championships Friday at Boo Williams Sportsplex.

The Woodbridge senior All-Met won with 68 feet, obliterating the previous state meet record of 65-51 / 2 that Dan Krueger (Bayside High) set in 1978. Krueger’s was the oldest record on the books.

“I’m really happy. I’m excited,” Simmons, a Miami recruit, said. “There’s been a lot of talk about how I was the best hope to break the indoor record. That monkey’s off my back.”

Great Bridge’s Brian Waterfield was runner-up on Friday with 57-21 / 2. Annandale’s Joel Hoisington earned all-state honors,was all-state, finishing sixth with 52-11 / 2.

The record came on Simmons’s sixth and final throw, but Simmons and everybody watching thought he broke it on his third attempt, when he pushed the 12-pound ball 67-71 / 2. The crowd applauded after his mark was announced as a record.

But, according to meet director Dan Ward, for a mark to be certified as a record, the event official and the head field judge or referee must both verify it. In Simmons’s case, only the event official made the call.

“I was really [ticked] off. I’m not even going to hold my tongue,” Simmons said.

But Simmons, who was dealing with a sprained right throwing hand, (he kept ice on it in between rounds to control the swelling and had so many bandages wrapped around it that it looked like a club) —wasn’t going to let a clerical error ruin his shot at history. In the final, he fouled before throwing 63-7. On his last chance, he spun quickly through the circle and torqued the shot the record-setting distance.

The head field judge, who was standing by this time, sprang sprung over to the tape and verified that Simmons’s throw was, indeed, a record.

Simmons lifted a fist in the air to resounding applause. Allen Bayuk, the event official, took a deep sigh and gave him a congratulatory pat on the back.

“I learned something today,” said Bayuk, who was relieved he didn’t cost Simmons the record. “I’m just so glad he did it. That shows his character as a young man.”

Notes: The girls from West Potomac — Sophia Passacantando, Dale Lescher, Sami Miller and Sarah Jane Underwood — held on to win a close 4x800 relay in 9:25.09, the fastest time in Virginia this season. Cosby was runner-up in 9:25.12. . . . Colonial Forge’s Brian O’Loughlin, David Klimek, Jordanis Lozier and David Pennesi placed second in a very quick boys’ 4x800 in 7:57.73. Atlee was the winner in 7:53.20. . . . Renee Reives won silver in the girls’ shot put with 40-11.25, finishing just behind champion Kiara Howell of Grassfield (41-0). . . . C.D. Hylton senior Amira Idris placed third in the girls’ triple jump with a personal-best 40-3. Siobhan Ford-Holland of Thomas Dale was the winner with 40-4. South County’s Loren Dyer placed fifth (38-3.25). . . . Seniors John Jenkins (Annandale) and Anthony Williams (Potomac) qualified for Saturday’s final in the boys’ 55 hurdles. Jenkins ran the second-fastest time of the day on Friday 7.38 while Williams qualified in 7.46, third overall.

littlec@washpost.com

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