Parker takes track to a new level

by Matt Bower

How often is it that an athlete can say they broke two recordsin the same day?

That is exactly what junior Ross Parker accomplished as a memberof the Simpson indoor track team at the Cornell Quad on Jan. 31.Parker reset the school records in the shot put and 35-pound weightthrow. He tossed the shot for 52-8’34, breaking his ownschool mark of 50-3’12.

Parker broke his own record of 45-9’12 for the weightthrow, which he had set earlier this season, when he recorded atoss of 49-3’12 at the Quad.

According to Parker, the double record breaking was his bestachievement of the season and it provisionally qualified him forthe NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships in the shotput. Parker was also named IIAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week thesame week. Parker is no stranger to this competition. Last year, heprovisionally qualified for the outdoor NCAA Division IIIChampionships in the shot with a toss of 50-9’12.

He has been involved with the sport for about eight or nineyears, since 7th grade and loves to compete. He even has his owninteresting strategy for success.

“I like to watch other guys who are better than me on tape,”said Parker. “Then I try and emulate them and do better than them.My favorite athlete to watch is Randy Barnes.”

Another reason Parker loves the sport is the individual aspectinvolved with it.

“The tape measure doesn’t lie,” said Parker. “You can only blameyourself for your performance. You are responsible for youractions.”

With his outspoken individualism, you may be thinking Parker isin it only for himself, but this is not the case as Parker enjoyscontributing to the team effort.

“I like helping the team with my individual performance,” saidParker.

With the indoor season about halfway through, Parker ispreparing for the homestretch as well as gearing up for the outdoorseason. But before he heads outdoors, Parker hopes to qualifyAll-Conference in the weight throw. Parker plans to continue hisrecord-breaking performances in the outdoor season.

“I want to break the discus record,” said Parker. “It’s myfavorite event and the only record I don’t have.”

Parker would also like to qualify All-Conference in each of histhree outdoor events in the shot put, the weight throw, and thehammer.

“I’d like to get All-American in the shot for the outdoorseason,” said Parker.

After the outdoor season wraps up, the Sociology major has onemore year here to compete for the Storm before he heads off to lawschool or decides to become a coach. Either way, Parker still planson keep throwing after the chapter of his college career is writtenin history’s book.

“After my football career, I’d still like to keep throwing,”said Parker. “I can still get some really good distances and thatwill be good for me.”