By Josh Brown
COLUMBUS — Beyonce Bobbitt didn’t chalk up her performance Friday to nerves or being too fired up or anything else.
“My mindset was fine. It was just fundamental things that I didn’t do,” said the Milton-Union sophomore.
Bobbitt, who finished 13th as a freshman, took 11th and missed the finals in the discus at the Division II state track and field meet Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. After fouling on her first two throws, she hit a 118-7, with 119-4 being the cutoff to get three more chances in the finals.
“Your available opportunities diminish each time that takes place,” Milton-Union throwers coach Dan Studebaker said of her early fouls. “By the time you’re two in the hole, subconsciously you just want to make sure you get one legal throw — and that robs you of the intensity you need to be throwing at your highest level.”
Bobbitt entered the competition with a regional throw of 131-3, the sixth-best throw coming in, and she’d thrown even better than that earlier in the season. But once in Columbus, she struggled once again.
“Being here last year, I choked last year and then I choked again this year,” Bobbitt said. “At some point, you’ve just got to suck it up and chuck one out there. I can get here. I’ve proven that twice now. It’s just a matter of what I do once I get here.”
And while it wasn’t the leap forward that she’d hoped to take this season — a spot on the podium was the goal — Bobbitt can still build on the experience for the future.
“She has had improvement,” Studebaker said. “She was 11th this year, was 13th last year. She’s got two more years left. She plans on being physically stronger for next year. With something like this, it just gives her the opportunity to be mentally stronger, too, to be able to handle situations like this.”
“Getting here is the fun part,” Bobbitt said. “Being here and throwing well here, that’s the part that helps you as a thrower. Throwing good here, that’s when you know you deserve to be here. I know I deserve to be here, and I’ve got two more years. I’ve had two years in a row of choking at state — and I’m sick of it.”
Plus, unlike last season, Bobbitt gets another chance on Saturday to get the bad taste out of her mouth — she will compete in the shot put on Saturday morning.
“There’s always tomorrow — and that’s not a coaching metaphor,” Studebaker said. “She literally has tomorrow. I think the top 10 girls will be within three feet of each other, so that competition will come down to 0.25 inches.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.