For Andrews’ discus thrower Jacob Mechler, today’s final trip to the UIL State Track and Field Championships in Austin will be bittersweet.
After three consecutive years of qualifying for the state meet, as well as participating in the Texas Relays, the trip to Mike A. Myers Stadium has become a regular occurrence for the Mustangs’ senior.
For the record, he’s not letting that distract him too much from trying to protect his title in his event.
“It’s definitely a bittersweet moment,” Mechler said who will be throwing at the collegiate level at Abilene Christian University. “I’m sad to see it go. I’ve loved to compete.
“My coaches have helped me out over the year. But I’m also ready to move on and throw at ACU.”
Mechler, who won the Class 4A state discus title last year with a throw of 172 feet, 4 inches, will get a chance to defend that crown when his event is called at 2 p.m. Saturday on the University of Texas campus.
“It’s been really fun to compete there,” Mechler said. “It’s a special place to throw at. It has a special feel to it.
“Before state, we get to warm up in the stadium. It’s really cool. It’s a fun place to compete.”
It was also the site of the last meet in which he didn’t finish first, even though that was at this year’s Texas Relays in March and Mechler still managed a second place finish with a throw of 174-10.
Despite Mechler’s dominance in the discus, he said his coaches and family have contributed to his success.
“My coaches have helped me out a lot,” Mechler said. “They’ve been very awesome. I’ve learned a lot from them. My family has also helped me. They have made sure I’ve made it to meets as well as Texas Relays.”
His older brother Matthew helped him begin his discus career.
“My older brother threw in eighth grade and I started throwing in sixth grade,” Mechler said. “He kind of got me into it. We look at technique throws online. It all took off after that.”
This season, Mechler broke his school’s discus throwing record with a mark of 186-9 at Pecos.
“Breaking that record and knowing that I left a mark at Andrews High School has been special,” Mechler said.
His goal for this week is to throw 190 feet.
But winning state as a junior has come with its share of challenges for this season.
“There’s a little bit of added pressure,” Mechler said. “Everyone sees you coming out and looks out for you. But I look at it like another meet. I just go out and have fun and throw.”
He’ll take that to heart this weekend.
“I just go in treating this like it’s another week,” Mechler said. “I don’t change anything up. There’s a little added pressure since it’s the week of state but other than that, I just try to focus and keep doing the same things that I have been doing this season.”