Senior discus thrower desires to compete at Olympic level

Annie Matheis, News editor

Senior Mizani Hobson prepares the same way every track meet.

She arrives about an hour and a half before the meet.

She relaxes a little and lays out in the sun.

She studies the throwing ring and stretches before warming up.

Hobson then approaches the ring to participate in the sports she loves — discus and shot put.

She plans to continue track throughout college.

Hobson started competing in track in seventh grade at Prairie Star Middle School.

She joined the team just for fun.

“I realized I was actually good at it, so I started to take it seriously,” Hobson said.

Many different colleges have looked at adding Hobson to their track team, including Emporia State University, Pittsburg State University, University of Central Missouri, Northwest Missouri State University, Drake University and Virginia State University.

Hobson said Virginia State offered her a part academic, part athletic scholarship, and her heart is set on attending school there.

She said she wants to continue to be involved in track through college to give her something to do other than just attend classes. She also has goals of competing in the Olympic trials.

“If I go to the Olympic trials, I hope I make it to the Olympics and qualify in around the top four,” she said. “It would be a great experience. Even making it to the Olympic trials and getting that opportunity would be great. But I want the outcome to be for me to compete in the Olympics.”

To qualify for the Olympic trials, Hobson plans to compete in national meets.

Along with shot put and discus, Hobson will add the weight throw and the hammer throw events in college.

Hobson said she enjoys the aspect of competing on her own in track.

“I can’t blame anyone else or anything else for me not performing as well as I should have,” she said.

Girls track coach Paul Brown said Hobson contributes a lot of talent to the team.

He said Hobson’s love of the sport makes her a key athlete.

“[Track] has been her first thing,” he said. “Her motivation to be really good is a good thing, and I think when you have people that are like that, it helps carry over to other kids to learn how to drive and really push themselves to excel at what they do.”

During the off-season, Hobson continues to refine her ability by lifting weights and working out.

“I love the fact that I keep improving,” Hobson said.  “I think I have a lot of room to improve. But as far as where I am right now, I am at a really good spot for my age. I am just looking forward to what more I can do with the next level of help.”

Brown said to play a sport in college, an athlete must be willing to give a much greater time commitment.

“If you are a college-level athlete, it is pretty much a year-round deal,” he said. “It is not like you just go out there and throw.”

Hobson holds the record for the second best discus throw in school history.

Brown said she has a very good chance of breaking the record this year.

Hobson said her goal for the upcoming spring season is to go undefeated in her throws.

“That is not very likely, just because everybody has their days,” she said. “But my goal is to win every meet in at least one event, including State.”