Trego's Ghumm back at it in 2014
By CONOR NICHOLL
WaKEENEY -- WaKeeney-Trego Community senior Devon Ghumm missed track last season, but decided to come back out for 2014.
"It's good," Ghumm said. "I enjoy being around classmates, friends, other kids from other schools. After sitting out last year, I guess it's better to be out than not. You only have four chances to do it."
Strong and athletic, Ghumm does the rare combination of the shot put and 100-meter dash. Victoria's Monty Biesel and Smith Center's Mark Simoneau, two of the area's most famous athletes and former professional football players, are the only ones from the area to do both events well in the last 20 years.
"Shot put, I kind of just did to get out of running events," he said. "Now, I've kind of just taken a liking to it. I guess I am pretty good at it. I have done it since seventh grade."
Ghumm's sprinting speed has slowed some, but he has thrown the shot put 49-1.5, a personal best set last week at Oakley and among the best in 2A. Ghumm doesn't have great technique in the ring, but has added distance through weightlifting workouts. Ghumm could become the first WaKeeney boy thrower to qualify for state since 2005.
"A lot of people call it the junior high shuffle," Ghumm said. "It's working for me, so I am not going to change anything."
"A lot of the throwing part I think comes natural for him," WaKeeney-Trego coach Jeff Rhoden added. "He just picked that up pretty quickly."
This Friday, WaKeeney hosts the Goldsmith Relays, a 12-team meet that normally marks the point where marks start improving with a month left before state. Rhoden doesn't look at state rankings until after Friday. Three Class 2A shot putters have broken 49-6, according to historian Carol Swenson's statewide honor roll.
"There is the right quality of competition there that you can kind of start to figure out and judge where you are sitting at in all of those events," Rhoden said. "I just wish our track was in a little better shape, but it's usually a pretty fast track."