Spending his freshman season on a state championship team with several good throwers, Jared Casey took a back seat to some of the other Plainville standouts.

But Casey has risen to the forefront for the Cardinals this year in the shot put, owning one of the best marks in the area and winning the 2A regional last week at Smith Center with a toss of 53-3.

“We had our PHS bomb squad last year — that’s what we called it,” Casey said. “We had three great throwers last year and I didn’t get a chance to go to regionals last year. But this year two of them graduated, so I took the next spot up.”

The highlight of the season so far has been Casey’s performance in the Mid-Continent League meet at Oakley. He shattered his personal record with a toss of 54 after already previously setting his PR on two other throws in the meet.

“I knew that I needed to get better,” Casey said. “I saw that everyone else was making moves, so I needed to make my own. I felt it in warmups.”

Casey said he feels like he’s peaking at the right time.

“It’s just focus and determination,” Casey said. “You can’t mess around late in the year. It’s just a mental thing. Everyone’s physically ready, but it’s all mental.”

After not getting a chance to compete at the state meet last season, Casey said he is eager to experience the atmosphere.

“It’s going to be an awesome feeling,” Casey said. “Obviously the largest track meet in the nation. I don’t really know about it. I’ve never experienced it, I’ve never watched it. I want to see what it feels like.”

Plainville’s Zach Pierson will look to defend his 2A state championship in discus and also qualified for state in shot put.

On the track for the Plainville boys, Zachary Zimmerman will compete in the 110 hurdles and will be joined in the 200 by teammate Anthony Ventura while Chayse McCollough will run in the 3200.

In the field, Chase Cellmer will compete in the long jump and triple jump.

Aubree Dewey will run the 100, 200 and 400 for the Plainville girls while Jersey Kaiser will compete in the 100 hurdles and 200 hurdles. Brooklyn Stab will take part in the discus and high jump and Plainville’s 400 relay team also qualified.