SHOW LOW — The first thing that pops into people’s heads when they think of track and field is 100-meter races, long jump and hurdles.
Often, events such as shot put, javelin and discus are forgotten about, but those events are which involve some of the most talented, strongest and athletic competitors.
Show Low High School’s track and field team has had a great season with a young team, but the athlete who stands out the most this season is junior Shea Parades who competes in javelin, discus and shot put.
Parades is extremely talented at javelin and shot put, but her true specialty is discus in which she has placed first in all but two meets and has been invited to her first state meet this year.
Only competing for two seasons, Parades has accomplished something a lot of people work their whole lives for and that’s reaching the state meet. She is truly an athletic, talented and strong individual.
It was a warm and breezy day last week when the White Mountain Independent had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with Parades and find out exactly what she has done to get where she is today.
Parades was first asked what got her into track and field and she said, “My coach Ronnie Maxwell and I started weightlifting and he told me that I looked like I would be good. I was a little iffy at first, but I trusted him and went with it.”
Parades may have been “iffy” at first but has been on fire this season with a personal discus record of 107 feet 4 inches and a personal shot put record of 34 feet, making huge improvements from her first year.
Her favorite part of track and field competition are the meets.
“Practice and everything is so fun, but when you get to the meets it’s a different atmosphere. Everyone is supporting each other and cheering everyone on. The team environment is just amazing,” Parades said.
Sitting at third in her discus section, Parades will look to make some improvements before the state meet, saying, “practice makes perfect. Every day I feel like I’m improving. You can always work on your form and release. I just can’t wait to compete in the state meet.”
As a junior, Parades expects to improve even more when she is a senior. She pushes herself every day to become better with Maxwell’s help.
“She is a very talented and bright individual,” Maxwell said. “There is no limit for her. She pushes herself every day and is a fantastic teammate. I can’t wait to see what her future brings.”
The future is bright for Parades, and she and her teammates are expecting good things at the state meet that will be held on May 24 at Mesa Red Mountain High School.