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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK Mason Clark, of Gentry, NWADG Athlete of the Year, was photographed Thursday, May 24, in Springdale.

Boys Athlete of the Year: MASON CLARK

SCHOOL: Gentry

CLASS: Senior



THE SCOOP: Became a two-time Class 4A state champion in both the discus and the shot put. ... He trailed Ashdown's Chris French by almost 2 feet in the shot put before his final throw -- a personal-best 55 feet, 1 inch, that was the state's best performance this year until the Meet of Champs. ... Won the state 4A discus title with back-to-back throws of 155-6 and beat his closest competitor by more than 17 feet. ... His personal best in the discus this spring was a throw of 157-2.5 during the War Eagle Invitational at Rogers Heritage, and he ranked third in the state overall. ... Was a starter on the offensive and defensive lines for Gentry's football team.

DID YOU KNOW: Clark will continue throwing the shot put and the discus in college. He signed a national letter of intent with Missouri Southern in April. He was offered a scholarship after his performance during an indoor meet this winter at the Joplin campus.

QUOTABLE: "In the state indoor meet, I didn't do as well in the shot put as I was hoping," Clark said. "I was coming off a 52-foot throw I had at MSSU during its meet. Going into the outdoor season, I wanted to prove I could do it again, but it just wasn't there until halfway through the season. Then I started hitting it more consistently. The discus was the same way.

"It just all worked out. At the state meet in Pocahontas, I just went for it on the last throw. I knew that if I went for a safe throw on my last attempt, I wouldn't have won it. I just went all out."

-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Sports on 06/13/2018

Print Headline: Mason Clark chosen All-NWADG athlete of the year

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