(ANDREW JANSEN ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian)
HILLSBORO -- Notre Dame thrower Brennan Scheeter had a frustrating district meet last spring after pulling his hamstring the week leading up to the competition.
"I competed," Scheeter said about last year. "I tried, but I just didn't perform. I threw three feet under what I usually threw."
A healthy Scheeter redeemed himself this year while competing at the Class 3 District 1 meet Saturday. The senior threw 48 feet, 1 inch to place second in the shot put behind Perryville's Garrett Leible (55-11).
Scheeter, a senior, earned his first trip to the Class 3 sectional meet, which will take place Saturday at noon in Farmington, by placing in the top four. Leible, meanwhile, will make his second straight appearance at sectionals.
"This year I hit the weights a little more and had a rough start, but it got better toward the end when I needed to," Scheeter said. "I'm excited. I haven't really seen what the other throwers [going to sectionals] have been doing, but I'm excited to be going finally."
Scheeter has improved his throws by more than three feet since last year. He said that during the offseason -- starting in October -- he lifted weights with a former thrower at Southeast Missouri State. Scheeter's goal during this season has been to break Shane Judd's shot put school record of about 50 feet, 10 inches. He hasn't accomplished it yet.
"That's my goal," he said. "I'm disappointed in myself so far, but I think I'll get it."
Throwing coach Rich Payne said Scheeter has improved his technique this year.
"His big progression has been technique-wise and strength level," Payne said. "His technique continually gets better. Even over the last three weeks his technique in the shot put has continued to progress and that's why his distances have continued to jump."
Meanwhile, Leible is returning to sectionals where he hopes to throw better than he did last year. Leible was disappointed with his throws at sectionals in 2008 as he barely made it to the state tournament. He then felt he underachieved at state, too.
"I'm just trying to prove it to myself that I can do better than I did," Leible said. "I felt like I choked last year a little bit. I threw 49 feet after throwing 53 in districts. And I also threw 49 at state and I just feel like I really underperformed the last two [weeks] of the year."
Leible placed 10th (49-10.25) at the 2008 state meet. Leible, who will play football at Missouri University of Science and Technology next fall, said that he has had some strong practices lately and was looking forward to the district meet.
"I was hitting 54s," he said. "And I came out, I was a little tired and nervous but I told myself I had to prove myself and I came out and threw big."