WAYNESBORO, Ga. — Forget about building up and improving with the next throw; DaVonte Lambert wants to make the first one special. He wants to separate himself from the field right away.
In May, the Burke County senior used a strong first throw to win the Class AAA state title at shot put with a toss of 55-feet, 9.75 inches. He added a second-place finish in the discus throw with 171’ 8” to earn The Augusta Chronicle’s pick as the boys track and field athlete of the year.
“All this season, ‘Make your first throw your best. Show them that you’re here,’ ” Lambert recalls coach Mercedes Hamilton telling him.
Last year, Lambert came in fifth in the shot put.
This spring, he bettered his
own throw from 2011 by almost five inches and was three inches farther than runner-
up Shawayne Lawrence, of Eagle’s Landing.
Lambert says his second-place finish in the discus might have been more surprising.
The two podium performances are the culmination of years of work in the sport.
“It feels good,” said Lambert, who recently graduated. “It feels like you can do anything – just need a little coaching.”
Lambert, who was also a first team All-Area defensive player in football this past season, got involved with track and field while he was in middle school.
Though his work since that time has given him a state title, he’ll have to put track and field on hold for a bit.
Lambert will be attending Georgia Military College, where he’ll play football. There’s no track and field there, however, so Lambert hopes to compete again when he moves to a four-year college.
Until then, Lambert has a pair of senior year state titles – one team and one individual – to take with him to college.
“You know you can win as a team because a team can back you up,” Lambert. “But if you do it yourself, it’s special. You took the time and practiced hard and did it.”