Last year, Genoa's Logan Bryer finished second at the Division II Track & Field Meet in the discus. This year, bigger things could be on the horizon.
In 2012, Bryer, the regional champion, was second in the discus with a throw of 177 feet, 4 inches. An impressive feat for anyone, let alone a sophomore, which Bryer was last year. This time around, he's hoping for bigger and better things.
Thus far, Bryer has fared rather well. His longest discus throw of 177-05, came on Apr. 16 in a tri-meet against Woodmore and Old Fort. Bryer's best heave in the shot put of 53-07.00 came at the same event. He's finished first in the discus and the shot put in every dual- and tri-meet this season and was first in the shot put and fourth in the discus at the Clyde Invitational earlier this month. (Last year, the winning throw in Div. II in the discus was 190-07; in shot put it was 57-10.50.)
Roughly halfway into the season, Bryer spoke about the progress he's made.
“So far, this year I've been slowly progressing,” he said. “I have been training really hard on my technique to get a hold on big throws consistently. The weather has not been my friend this year but that is part of becoming a good thrower in Ohio. The discus has felt really smooth so far along with the shot (put). They are both on the way (to becoming) some very big PRs (personal records).”
Bryer credits a number of people, among them head coach Randy Grosjean and throwing coach Curt Reeder.
“(Reeder) is a very good strength coach,” Bryer said. “He helps a lot with technique and, in the weight room, helps get me in the right physical shape. He also helps remind me of the basics during practice and gets me back to where I need to be when things aren't going well.”
Bryer also credits former teammate Brad Szypka with helping him to progress as a thrower. Szypka is currently a sophomore at the Univ. of Kentucky where he competes for the track and field squad. He was a senior when Bryer was a freshman, winning the Div. II State Title in the shot put (61-01.25).
“All summer before football started I threw and trained with Brad at the high school when he was home,” Bryer said. “I really credit Brad for how far I have come throwing. Brad was always the guy pushing me at practice because he saw the potential in me when I was young. Brad inspired me to work hard because he is an example of hard work paying off in the long run.
“All the great throwers like Derrick and Marcus Vicars are great examples that inspire me to keep working hard. Brad is a great friend that constantly checks up on how I am doing in practice and meets and gives great advice to keep me going strong.”
Bryer comes from a family of athletes. His older brother, Josh, played quarterback for some great Comet football teams before graduating in 2012. Logan, an offensive guard/defensive end, has been a key member of the last two Genoa football teams that went a combined 21-3, won an NBC title and advanced to the Div. IV Regional Semifinals twice. For his efforts this season, Bryer was named to the 2012 Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Football Team on both offense and defense.
“(Football) helped a ton with improving my work ethic,” he said. “It teaches you that sacrifices are necessary to become successful. It has given me a work ethic that transferred into my weight room and dedication and dedication to continue to work toward my goals. It also helped to remind me that things don't always go your way when you are training and not everything is easy. But, grinding through the tough times of training usually results in great things.”
Bryer, who took part in some indoor track and field competitions over the winter, is hoping that he gradually improves and has his best showing at the state tournament in Columbus in June.
“Going into the season, I really wanted to focus on becoming a consistent thrower,” he said. “I wanted to 'move the mark' throughout the year to eventually peak at state. That means to continuously get better throughout the year and throw farther consistently.”