Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing around 195 pounds, Thomas Supan is far from the stereotypical thrower.
But when the Medina senior steps into the ring, he can compete with anyone in the shot put and discus.
He is heading to the Amherst Division I Regional with a shot at another record-breaking week and a chance for his first career state berth in both events.
“I don’t have the strength that most of those guys have, especially in the shot,” he said. “When the meet gets going I get that adrenaline and amp up my game.”
The senior has reset his personal record in the discus twice over the last three weeks — including spinning the plate a career-best 161-feet, 9 inches on his final throw to win the Brunswick D-I District title. He followed that up, two days later, with a toss of 51-5ﾾ to take the shot title.
A regional placer last season in the shot, Supan has been hovering just below his personal best of 53-feet that he threw a year ago in a seventh-place finish at Amherst, while his improvement in the discus has been downright impressive.
Counting his district victory, Supan has been in the top-3 at every invitational this season — working his way up from the 140s, to the 150s, to now recording tosses of 160-feet or better. He earned Field Event MVP honors at the SecondSole Eagle Elite Meet at GlenOak in the opening month of the season.
Far from a performance you would expect from an athlete that looks like he should be on the runway for the long jump as opposed to mixing it up with the disc.
“Last year I struggled a lot and I didn’t even make it out of districts,” said Supan, who finished seventh. “This year I’m non-reversing and it’s helped me. Last year I had a problem fouling out, so with non-reversing I’m able to utilize my lower body.”
While most of his competitors are shorter, stockier and rely on brute strength, channeling his own athleticism has helped Supan emerge as one of the top discus throwers in the state.
And with the gains he has been making on a weekly basis, Supan believes he has another breakout performance in store for this week.
“At practice I’ve been throwing 165, but I know I have 175 in me right now,” he said. “I just have to put everything together. I’ve been doing everything in bits, so I just have to bring it all together and see what happens.”
Supan, who is in the top-five on the school’s all-time list in the discus, admits he will need another career day in the upper 160s if he wants to extend his season to the state meet in Columbus.
With a guy like Rocky River junior Michael Shoaf, who has a toss of 171-feet, as well as Avon sophomore Joe Svec and St. Ignatius senior Alex Misencik standing in his way, the Bee isn’t going to back down from the challenge.
“I like it a lot,” Supan said. “Sometimes it gets in my head. I need to get those thoughts out before the meet, so when I’m throwing I just have to do it.
“It has to be a PR, because the kid from Ignatius throws 160s and the kid from Rocky River throws in the 170s-180s, so I think upper 160s and 170 should make it. I know I can do it.”