Shotputter having banner season for Evart track

BIG RAPIDS — Kirsten Parsons would love beating her personal record when she competes this Saturday in the Division 3 track and field state finals at Jenison.

But the Evart sophomore thrower, while not achieving that mark Friday night, still established herself as one of the area's top shot putters during the Pioneer Track & Field championships at Top Taggart Field.

Parsons took the fourth-place medal by throwing the shot 29-6. It's not quite the performance she had on May 19 in the Division 3 regionals at Brethren. She had her personal record of 32-7 for the regional title to qualify for the state finals.

“It's going well,” Parsons said. “I qualified for regionals with my place and distance.”

Parsons indicated winning the regionals was a pleasant surprise.

“I knew I was going to place well but I didn't think I'd win,” she said. “I had some good seniors I was going up against. If I didn't throw my PR, I wasn't going to win. I threw my PR so I won.”

Last Tuesday, Parsons had to settle for sixth place on her home track in the Highland Conference meet.

“I had a bad day,” she said.

Looking at the state finals, Parsons realistically realizes what her prospects are, despite being a regional champion.

“I just want to get there and be done. I'm ranked 19th,” Parson said. “There's a lot of senior girls who are there (that are throwing farther).”

Finishing as high as possible is Parson's basic goal along with gaining valuable experience at a state meet.

“I'm looking for a 33 before the end of the season,” Parsons said. “I have some meets left.”

Her mental abilities and form have been a strength for Parsons.

“My strength is going to get better once I nail my form down even more,” Parsons said.

Her personal record last year was 27-9 “so I've improved five feet,” Parsons said.

She has also thrown the discus this season with a personal best of 82-4.

“We only had four people throwing this year but there were some meets we were first-second and third,” Parsons said. “So we were decently strong for having such small numbers.”

A freshman having a strong season for the Wildcats has been Kristen Kullman, who nearly qualified in the 800. She had a time of 2:31 at regionals for her best time.

“At the beginning of the season, I was getting 2:50 so I improved a lot,” she said. “It's probably been my finish. I'm kind of a sprinter too.”

Her second best event has been the 200 with a 29.0 being her best time. She said her finish has been her strength.