IOWA CITY, Iowa — After researching weather patterns for the next day’s track meet, Coy Kirkpatrick approached his father and made a proclamation.
Tomorrow, the record falls.
About 20 hours after calling his shot, Kirkpatrick claimed what could be the most important honor of his track season last Tuesday. He set the Madrid High School discus record formerly held by his dad, Craig Kirkpatrick, with a toss of 186 feet, 11 inches — 2 feet longer than his old man’s best effort.
“It feels awesome to finally have my name up on that track record board,” said Kirkpatrick, an Iowa offensive line signee.
Most days, he walked past the track record board at the high school and looked at his dad’s entry. Craig threw 184-6 in 1992. The record stood for 25 years and Coy wanted to break it since his freshman year.
Coy’s confidence grew the more he looked at the wind patterns for the meet last Tuesday in Gowrie. Breezes of 5-7 mph were expected out of the west or southwest. Ideal conditions included wind blowing over his right shoulder from the southwest to add distance to his toss. It proved to be a perfect throwing situation.
“I really couldn’t plan it much better,” he said.
Publicly, Craig told his son that he needed to back up his talk after their Monday night chat. Privately, he knew the record likely would fall. Coy approached 180 feet at his last meet and his form was improving. The question was when, not if, the record would fall.
“I had a feeling it was coming and it did,” Craig said.
Coy focused on relaxing on the bus ride to Gowrie. A text from his dad helped. So did seeing the American flag when he got off the bus. It didn’t move much, but when it did the wind was out of the west or southwest.
The day shaped up how he had hoped. His warmup throws were 180-plus. The wind shifted to the southwest for his first attempt. Kirkpatrick read the tape measure at 181. He told himself it was a good first effort until he realized he misread a number. He actually threw 184-9, beating his dad’s record.
“I jumped up and down,” Coy said.
Call it his warmup celebration. His next throw went 186-11, besting his own minutes-old record.
“It’s sweet,” Coy said. “It feels great. I don’t think it would feel as great if it was just a normal record, but since it was my dad I think that’s really special.”
Craig, a plumber, couldn’t attend the meet because of work, but his wife, Natalie, kept him up to date. Craig knew Coy broke the record before Natalie told him because the tone in her voice changed.
“He really deserves it and he has had a lot of pressure on him for different reasons with (the) Iowa (scholarship) and everything else,” Craig said. “You are expected to perform at a certain standard at everything that you do. So I think this was one mark off of his list that should ease him up a little bit.”
The two spoke shortly after the discus competition ended. Craig told Coy he was proud. Coy had a quick one-liner about being the Kirkpatrick discus champion.
“I was a little braggadocious,” Coy said.
His next track goals include breaking the school shot put record and winning state titles in discus and shot. He could accomplish all three goals and still not be as excited as he was seeing his name replace his dad’s on the Madrid record board.
“I sent him a picture of it,” Coy said. “I just had to do it.”