The last time Sean McGee threw a shot put competitively he finished fifth in the Division II state meet in Columbus.
Now, with all-Ohio already on his resume, McGee will now take a shot at earning indoor all-American.
Based on his outdoor marks of better than 55-feet, McGee has qualified for the New Balance Indoor Nationals, which will be held March 8-10 at the famed track and field venue, The Armory in New York City.
MARTINS?FERRY senior Sean McGee will take part in the New Balance Indoor National Track Meet in New York City in March.
Not bad for a guy who went out for track as a freshman because he "just wanted to try it out."
"I got the hang of throwing the shot put, started throwing farther and farther and then I was like, hmm, I must be good at this," McGee said. "Last year, I really got the hang of it and really popped one out there."
At the national meet, McGee will compete in the championship division.
"I was doing some checking around at the end of last year and happened to stumble upon the national standards," said Purple Riders' head coach Rich Materkoski. "I am sure we've had some people close in the past, but I wanted to take it upon myself to get the athletes we have here the recognition to be able to go and do something like this."
McGee, who's never been to the 'Big Apple,' is a little apprehensive about the meet for the simple fact that he's rusty. He's not thrown competitively since the state meet, but the Riders will be entered in a handful of meets prior to heading to NYC.
"I hope I throw better than I think I am going to," McGee smiled. "We have four meets before then, so hopefully I can shake some of the rust off."
Though he's a bit nervous, McGee's goals are simple.
"I want to be in the top 8," McGee said. "Being all-American would be really nice. I am really looking forward to this opportunity."
Once the Riders arrive in NYC, the biggest admitted challenge for McGee will be calming the nerves down.
"There are probably going to be a lot of people there, so I'll be really, really nervous," McGee said. "
The Ferry iron baller was the area's top thrower all season in both the shot and discus. He was the district champion and regional runnerup, trailing only Waverly's Dylan Dyke, who went on to win the state championship.
"My goal is to break the school record again, throw farther than I did last year and hopefully hit the 60 (foot) mark before the end of the season," McGee said. "When I threw 55-11 last season, I even surprised myself. I really had a lot of adrenaline running through my body at that point."
McGee is rounding back into form despite battling a knee injury he sustained in football. He's still unsure if he's going to be able to avoid surgery, but doctors have told him if he does have to go under the knife, they'll hold off until after the outdoor track campaign.
"My knee isn't too bad," McGee said. "I can squat and stuff, but I just can't do too much. I don't want to strain it or dislocate it again. I had a partially torn patella tendon, which they've said should heal on its own, but I still have to see a sports doctor soon."
Materkoski has been pleased with the progress McGee has shown since suffering his injury.
"Sean has a little bit of soreness here and there in his knee, but he seems to be coming along," Materkoski said. "Doctors don't think he's going to have to have surgery. They don't think it's going to hinder him at all."
Last week, when the weather cooperated, McGee got outside and tested the knee in the throwing circle. He went through his normal glide routine and had "no pain."
"I am really excited about the season ahead," McGee said. "My goal for the season is to beat the kid from Waverly."
The Riders' indoor thinclads practice only three days a week, so they're looking at about 10 or so practice before taking part in a meet in Akron.
"There's not a doubt in my mind that (indoor track) played a big role in the success we had last spring," Materkoski said. "I don't know that we would have accomplished what we did without indoor track."
The Purple Riders' indoor track and field schedule features three meets prior to the national meet and Materkoski is hoping that he can get a handful of girls qualified for the 'Emerging Elite Division.'
The highly successful Riders' coach believes that Sarah Applegarth, Sunshine Wrenn, Jamie Truchan, Ashley Griffith and Taylr Jenkins could all qualify for the meet before the meet.
The Riders' delegation is flying from Pittsburgh to LaGuardia International and will stay on West 45th Street in Manhattan during the trip.
The team is planning a few fundraisers before then to help off-set the costs of the trip and Materkoski also indicated that they are accepting donations as well. For more information on that, Materkoski can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.