Record Breaker: Emter breaks school shot put record


At this past weekend’s divisional track meet, Park High School Ranger Chris Emter did something no one in Park’s history had ever done.

He threw a shot put over 59 feet.

Emter not only set a school record, but a Central A Divisional track meet record as well, when he threw a 59-03. His previous personal best was a 54-05.

“Yeah, I thought I had it in me. Well, maybe not that far,” Emter said of the record-breaking throw. “I had thrown it a couple of times in practice, I just hadn’t done it in a meet yet. Everything just clicked (on Saturday).”

His coach was not so sure.

“I honestly didn’t know how much more room he had (to grow),” said head coach Jim Johnson. “He’s improved a lot at every meet (this season). I thought he had plateaued at 54-05. I was amazed. I kind of knew he had it in him, but I didn’t know he had five more feet.

“I have to contribute a lot of it to coach Kevin Fochs’ help with Chris in the shot. And Chris works very hard. When he steps in the ring, he is ready to go. Sometimes coach Fochs has to give him a little jump start to remind him what we’re doing, but Chris steps up (in big situations).”

Johnson described what makes Emter so successful at the shot put.

“There is a lot of technique that goes into the shot put,” he said. “Like other events, you have to have the right footwork, the right release point and use your legs. A lot of things go into it and they work every day on that stuff. It’s a technical event, but they all are.”

The previous best throw in school history was set in 1988 by Mark Olson, who threw a 57-07.25. That record was actually farther than the division record, which was 56-06.50 set in 2000 by Belgrade’s Beau Clark. 

“Honestly, it didn’t feel any different,” Emter said of Saturday’s throw as compared to a normal throw. “It felt like I was throwing with no weight on my shoulders. I just let it go.”

Such lofty goals were never in Emter’s mind before the meet. He just wanted to do well and help his team.

“My mindset was just to win a conference championship,” Emter said. “I wanted to break the school record, but I had no intention of setting a divisional record. I didn’t even know what that record was.”

Emter had three warmup throws before the competition, throwing at or near the record. After his first throw of the competition, Emter knew something big had happened. 

“I remember hearing my coach behind the fence as well as my parents and friends,” he said. “I just heard them yelling and screaming, and I knew that I did it.”

After setting the record, it was relief more so than joy that Emter felt.

“It was more of a feeling of relief. Now, obviously, I want to do it again this weekend at state,” he said. “It’s just a feeling of relief that I did it.”

With this weekend’s state meet looming, Emter just wants to continue to get better.

“It’s kind of a win-lose,” he said of setting the record before the state meet. “I won by setting the record early, and it’s good to peak at this time. But I really would have liked to throw that this weekend at state. I’ll have to throw it again or maybe even a little farther.”


Thomas Watson may be reached at