Michael Turner didn’t start throwing the shot put until four years ago. However, it didn’t take Tuner very long to emerge as one of the best shot putters in the Public League as well as the state.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Engineering and Science senior placed second in the Public League championship and captured first place in the district meet. During the winter, Turner did quite well throwing 52’11.50 in the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association state championship meet.
“As of right now, 52.11 is my best distance,” Turner said. “I did that at the state championship meet at Penn State. I placed seventh.
“It wasn’t until my junior year that I realized how well I was doing. As a freshman and sophomore, I had just average marks. It wasn’t anything phenomenal. This really helped me. I’m looking forward to all the spring meets right now.”
Turner has worked extremely hard during the indoor in preparation for the spring. He had been throwing the shot put in the high 40s. His distance has continued to improve in recent weeks. He has a chance to participate in the Penn Relays next month.
“I’m ecstatic,” Turner said. “I’ve been doing my own research. I have to throw it 54 feet to qualify for the Penn Relays. I want to do it in the next couple weeks. I’ve been practicing as hard as I can. I’ve been trying to do as much as I can so that I can hit the qualifying mark.”
Ray Womack, Engineering and Science head coach, has been very impressed with Turner’s skills. Womack has noticed how much Turner has accomplished in a short period of time.
“This was his first year that I was able to get him with the track team all year long,” Womack said. “This was his first year doing indoor track. Right now, you can see the improvement. He did well last year, too. He came in second in the Public League championship and won the districts. He works on his game. He helps everybody else. He’s a good athlete and a good student.”
Turner has been doing very well on and off the field, his main interest residing in the classroom.
“I’ve been focusing on academics,” Turner said. “I’m looking at Indiana University (of Pennsylvania). I’ll be studying pre-engineering. I’ve been focusing on honor courses since my sophomore year like physics, chemistry, high level math and engineering. My hope is to go into bio-engineering, but I may go into mechanical engineering.”
Throwing the shot put and working on his studies has Turner moving in the right direction.