Tyler Schultz: Rewriting The Record Books

Tyler Schultz is used to competition having participated in basketball, football, and track and field his first two years at Custer High School.  In his junior year he decided to switch things up and focus solely on track; a move that has paid dividends for Schultz.

“I’ve been training hard all year and also have got a little work with the hammer and weight so that was good too. I’ve been to some big meets this year and competed very well so I just hope it keeps up.

So far so good for the junior whose recently threw 63-8.5 in the shot and 183-8 in the discus. Those marks are the 5th and 13th best all time in South Dakota history. Success is nothing new to Custer High School, which has become a hotbed for the state’s top throwers. Schultz says their ability to throw year round and knowledgeable coaches breeds success.

“Well I went to a few good camps. This last year I went to Ironwood which is probably the all time greatest camp for throwers and I went to the camps here at Custer which are very good. Training all year is great when it comes to throwing because it is definitely a technical sport, getting in the weight room and getting stronger is huge, and just trying to avoid injuries. Also, the coaching definitely helps make us a great program. Coach Long knows what he is talking about and Coach Bailey is also a great coach.”

Coach Russ Bailey says he takes some of the credit but it should mostly go to Terry Long whose son is the throws coach at South Dakota State. Long is a physical education teacher at Custer and volunteer throws coach. Bailey feels that the ability to have two coaches allowed for more one on training and attention to detail which in turn makes for better throwers.

“He’s been a coach in the past and he’s been a consultant to our throwers. He started out with his kids throwing and he’s a guy who just has a passion for throwing. He loves the throws and he researches them and has gotten into a situation where he is pretty knowledgeable about it and knows what it’s going to take.  Having him as a volunteer at Custer we have two throws coaches which goes a long way in developing consistency. We don’t have to send ten kids out while one coach bounces around and gets five minutes of coaching. They can have constant coaching throughout the practice. We have to contribute our success to his passion for the throws.”

One of Schultz’s biggest competitors is Beresford senior Kyle McKelvey. The two schools are on opposite ends of the state and nearly 400 miles apart so when they come together just two times a year the battles are fierce and heated.

“I think we definitely push each other. It drives me that is for sure. He has always beaten me in the shot but I have always been one step ahead in the discus.”

Coach Bailey says you can’t really compare the two and that on any given day one can beat the other.

“You can’t compare them until you see them head to head. It’s what drives them that excitement. If you know are going to win in a meet by 20 feet it’s hard to get pumped up and the adrenaline flowing. When you put them head to head it’s anyone’s guess. When you see each other two times you have to be really up for those two times and you can’t assume next time I’ll get it. There is no build to it you didn’t get dropped off at Mount Everest you are at the peak, and you have to win or you won’t see each other again. If you want to be the best you have two shots to do it and you have to win both times.”

After placing fourth at New Balance Nationals and reaching All-American status the future looks bright for Schultz. The junior prides himself on his work ethic and his ability to give back and teach teammates. He thrives to be as successful as some former Custer greats.

“Tyg Long, Eric Flores, Tyler Custis, they all give me advice and like to see me succeed. It is a great feeling to be one of the top in the state and I just hope to succeed this year and next year and become one of the tops in the nation. My goals are to go over 70 feet in the shot and hopefully if the circumstances are good to go over 200 in the discus by the end of my senior year. This year I’d like to get two state titles one for shot and one for discus.”

Coach Bailey believes those goals are certainly attainable.

“He mentally and physically tries to do what you ask him to do. He’s constantly doing what he has to do to be a great thrower. He’s going to be very special with another year getting bigger and stronger combined with his work ethic. You are going to have an interesting situation where he is going to be one of the best in the nation.”

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