COLUMBIA — When the Rock Bridge throwers practice with the discus, there is a system.
One will step into the ring, make some throws, then walk out and pick up the discs. Then the next thrower steps in and does the same thing.
Unless senior Nick Sublett is throwing.
After Sublett throws, there is no need to wait for him to pick up his discs. His discs are so far away that none of his teammates worry about their throws hitting him while he is picking up his discs.
Sublett won the discus (151 feet, 8 inches) and shot put (50-5 1/2) events April 29 through May 1 at the Dale Collier Invitational in Kirkwood. Next year, he will throw for the Missouri track and field team.
"I filled out a player profile online and, actually, that night Coach (Teri) Cantwell called me," Sublett said. "Every couple weeks she'd check in, and she asked me to go on a college visit, and I really liked it."
Sublett was officially offered a scholarship after throwing at a camp in December.
Sublett said he is excited about the opportunity to add the hammer throw to his repertoire next year. The hammer throw is a collegiate event, but not a high school event. The javelin is also not a high school event in Missouri, but Sublett doesn't plan on giving that a try.
"That's kind of a different body type," he said.
But before he gets to MU, Sublett has some unfinished business at Rock Bridge. He and his teammates start postseason competition Saturday when they host the Class 4, District 5 championships.
Sublett's throws coach is former MU thrower Elisha Hunt, who is in her first year coaching at Rock Bridge. She has been able to answer Sublett's questions about MU.
And she enjoys working with him.
"I definitely walked into a good thing," Hunt said. "It's not super common for every high school kid to have the passion and the focus that he does for something like this."
Sublett's passion started when he threw for the first time as a seventh-grader at Gentry Middle School. It helped guide him to a fifth-place finish in the shot put and 13th in the discus at last season's state meet.
This postseason, Sublett is aiming to finish in the top three in the shot put and top eight in the discus.
"He's grown in developing the mindset that he needs to get to the next level," Hunt said. "It's not just 'go out and throw.' He's learning how to focus on the mental stuff, so that when he gets into competition, he can just throw."
Hunt said she tells Sublett a saying former MU teammate and 2008 Olympian Christian Cantwell used to tell her: "First one, last one."
The saying means believing that your next throw is going to be your best throw ever.
"Whatever the outcome is, good, bad or otherwise, he's learning how to walk into the ring with that attitude every time," Hunt said. "Eventually that is going to lead him to that big throw."