For Jermaine Anderson, it wasn’t a matter of if but by how much he would break the indoor shot put record this past weekend.
The Chapel Hill senior had little trouble setting a new mark at the Last Chance Invitational in Birmingham.
He threw the shot put 61 feet, six inches to break the previous mark of 55-10.5 and in the process set a new CrossPlex Athletic Facility record.
“I went into it expecting to set the record,” Anderson said. “To me, it was just a matter of how much I was going to break it by. I just set my mind to doing it.”
Now, the defending Class AAAA shot put champion is concentrating on the outdoor season, which starts in a couple weeks.
“Getting this record gives me a lot of confidence going into the season,” Anderson said. “I had been in sort of a slump. It was great getting a win in a big meet to break out of it. I’m ready to get back to work and prepare for the outdoor season.”
As a team, the Panthers finished first overall in the 1A-5A Division at the meet.
In addition to Anderson, senior Kayla Alexander was third in the 60-meters in 7.92 seconds and third in the 60 hurdles at 9.11 seconds. Alexander, a Louisville signee, was runner-up at last year’s Class AAAA meet after winning consecutive title the previous two.
Ilene Soleyn was runner-up in the 400 at 57.92 seconds while playing eighth in the 800 (2:22).
Alexander senior Brenda Ayuk placed third in the 800 (2:16) and helped the 1,600 relay team to a runner-up finish. Ayuk, a Kennesaw State signee, is the defending Class AAAAAA 800 event.
Panthers coach Travis Mihalik called it a great start for Anderson.
“Jermaine has put in a lot of work to get to this point,” Mihalik said. “He has stayed focused and worked on his technique and mechanics. To set the record like that is very impressive.”
Anderson signed with Arkansas State during the November early signing period. He is ranked No. 8 nationally in the shot put event. Last summer, he placed fourth in the event at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championship and was 12th at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
“Jermaine is a hard worker who provides a lot of leadership to our younger athletes on the team,” Mihalik said. “He just needs to stay stronger and healthy for the season. We are looking for him to peak at the right time.”