Another year, another Class LL state shot put title for Shelton High senior Eddie Radzion.
Other wins have come much easier to the defending champ, but late heroics are nothing new for him either. This year’s title took the last throw of the last round of competition to secure the crown, something Radzion was forced to do in last season’s outdoor State Open.
Where this win is unique, however, is Radzion had to change his technique for this final throw. Another shot putter would not have had a prayer going back to his glide after spending the entire year learning and improving his rotation technique.
Lucky for the Gaels, Radzion is not just another thrower.
“Eddie had thrown mid-fifties in many a shot practice using the rotation,” Shelton throwing coach Tony Branca said. “It’s a more advanced technique, spinning the big thrower and added variables to the championship equation. We figured Eddie might need the glide ready and increased his practice time to make sure of it.”
Two weeks earlier, the glide had worked after Radzion fouled the first two spinning throws of the East Sectional and in this instance, the glide came without any practice.
Radzion rotated to the East and SCC titles over those two weeks. But Radzion and Branca made sure they had this last trick up his sleeve, just in case.
Radzion took to the circle.
Coaches, teammates, and family could only watch and cringe in anticipation, as launched the 12 pound shot, and it landed near the lead thrower’s mark of 48-04.
The officials took their time to measure — the judge read: “Forty-eight feet, eight and a quarter inch.” Radzion was the LL champ once again.
Eddie went back to his glide technique exclusively for the State Opens. He knew it wasn’t likely to defeat the heavy favorite Michael Browning from RHAM, but Branca thought it was more dependable than the spin.
Radzion placed third behind Browning and Collin Martin from Plainville.
The throws went much further for Radzion than in previous meets, and his best of the day was enough for a new school record and New England championship qualifier at 51-05.
With more practice, Radzion hopes to contend against these familiar foes up in Boston at the New England championships.