The Press Newspaper
Things just keep getting better and better for Logan Bryer.
In the past three months, Bryer, a Genoa senior, has won a state championship, finished third at a national competition, and accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Kentucky.
Last week, Bryer finished third and fourth in two separate events at the 2014 New Balance Nationals Indoor, an elite competition held in New York featuring some of the best high school throwers in the country.
His throw of 73 feet, 8¾ inches earned him a third place finish in the weight throw and a toss of 61-10¼ was good enough for fourth in the shot put.
By finishing in the top six, in two events Bryer earned All-American honors.
And earlier this month, Bryer won the weight throw (75-¼) and was second in the shot put (57-7¼) at the Division II/III Indoor Track and Field championships at the University of Akron.
Bryer relished the chance in New York and that he did so well against superb competition.
"The competition there was fantastic," Bryer said. "It took a throw of 59 feet, 3 inches just to make the final. I went up against kids from California and New York. Being able to call myself an All-American at the high-school level, I'm pretty blessed to represent the state.”
Just two months earlier, Bryer chose to continue his throwing career at Kentucky next fall. He had a number of Division I colleges recruiting him and narrowed down his final four choices to Kentucky, Nebraska, Cincinnati and Louisiana State before choosing to attend school in Lexington.
"UK, Cincinnati, Nebraska and LSU — I kept it down to those four,” Bryer said. “I kept all four in the same category. Once I really knew where I wanted to go, I let all of them know at the same time. It was tremendous — the recruiting process is very fun, but very stressful making sure you're respecting all the parties. Now I can just relax and throw and train. Just the relief of not having to worry is the most important part."
He says what attracted him to Kentucky is that he sees a school that’s known for having a deeply passionate fan base.
"The support that the school and the community gives you," Bryer said. There are the little things. The people appreciate how much effort you put forth. It's almost like a celebrity atmosphere but you fit it in. I love the support the athletes are given, just how much they support you and how they support you academically and with the practices — that was definitely one of the biggest reasons I went there.
An added bonus that comes with Bryer committing to UK is the fact that he'll be reunited with his good friend and fellow thrower, Brad Szypka, a 2011 Genoa graduate, but that had little to do with his decision, he says
"I made sure not to go to Kentucky because of Brad,” Bryer said. “He's a senior (next year) and he'll be gone soon, but it will be good to have him there when I'm a freshman and he can mentor and help me out with my academics and stuff like that."
As for Szypka, he recently made the area proud by accomplishing an impressive feat as he won the Southeastern Conference Indoor Track & Field title in the shot put with a throw of 63-10½. In fact, it was the first time a Wildcat had won the league title in a decade.
When he’s not competing as a Comet during the spring, Bryer is part of the Northwest Ohio Throws Academy. He trains in Findlay with the group under the guidance of Justin Carvalho, an assistant coach with the University of Findlay men’s track and field team.
At this point, Bryer says he can start gearing up for his final season with the Comets and just focus on getting better while trying to make it back to the state tournament. As a sophomore, he finished second in Ohio in the discus with a throw of 177-4 and made it back to the state tournament again last season.
This season, he’ll be under the guidance of Mike Pendleton, the former Woodmore throws coach who has seen all four of his daughters earn college scholarship for their performance in the shot put and the discus in recent years.
For now, Bryer believes he has to stay focused and remain confident in his abilities.
“I have thousands of throws under my belt,” he said. “Even in practice, I have some bad throws. I just go back to the training. The training helps me. I'm very confident in what I've done. It's more about the maturity level. I've matured and the confidence that I have helps me out a lot.”