Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eagle’s Landing senior Shawanye Lawrence prepares to make his final throw during the shot put event at Tuesday’s Henry County Track and Field Championships. The Georgia State football signee won both the discus and shot put events.
LOCUST GROVE — In between his throws, Shawanye Lawrence would laugh.
That’s because competitors Isaac Rochell and Andrew Williams were serving up plenty of jokes.
“I liked the relaxed atmosphere because it keeps you loose,” said Lawrence, moments after winning the Henry County Track and Field Championships on Tuesday afternoon.
“On my first throw, I felt a lot of pressure,” he continued. “There were so many people around.”
Once he relaxed, Lawrence threw a season-best 52-feet, 7.5 inches to win the shot put event. The Georgia State football signee went on to win the discus event with a throw of 160-2.
He said he felt a little heat from Rochell in the discus. Rochell, a Notre Dame football signee, placed second in the discus with a personal best throw of 47-2.5.
“I’m happy with my throw,” Rochell said.
It was Rochell’s first throw in three weeks after taking some time off to train.
“Throughout the season, Isaac seems to be a little more focused,” ELCA throw coach Travis Rogers said. “He has progressed well throughout the season. He is willing to work hard.”
Now that the field events are over at the county meet, Lawrence has his sites set on the region and state meets. Last season, he placed second in the shot put and third in the discus at the Class AAA meet in Jefferson.
He is hoping to end his career with a state title.
Lawrence said his performance at county will give him the boost for next week’s Region 4-AAAA meet, which will be held April 19-20 at Twelve Oaks Stadium in Hampton.
“This helps with my confidence going into region,” Lawrence said. “Isaac sort of pushed me out here today. I knew he was right on my heels.”
Lawrence is coming off an impressive wrestling season where he rebounded from knee surgery in late December to place sixth in the Class AAAA heavyweight division.
The sixth place finish at the state meet in Macon represented his highest finish during his career. Although Lawrence acknowledged he wanted to end his high school career with a state title, he said he was pleased at his placement, especially coming off an injury.
Lawrence did win the county and area championships in wrestling.
“I’m not too disappointed with the season since I got my best finish,” he said. “Doing all three sports helps me stay in shape and helps me become a better competitor.”
Aside from the upcoming region and state meets, Lawrence said he is anxious to start his college future. Georgia State has a new football coach in Trent Miles and has made the move to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest level in the NCAA. The Panthers will compete in the Sun Belt Conference.
“There is a lot to be happy about,” Lawrence said. “I’m very excited about my future.”