Logan Minter, a Monroe City senior, enters the Class 2 state championships with confidence from his record-setting campaign.
Logan Minter is saving his best for last.
The Monroe City senior achieved personal bests in the shot put, discus and javelin during the track and field postseason to advance in each event to this weekend's Class 2 state championships in Jefferson City.
In the process, the thrower shattered school records in the shot put and javelin, proof that four years of grueling training and hours of practice are paying ample dividends.
“Usually over my past few years I've thrown consistently average throws, and then towards the end of the year working up to state I start to peak,” Minter explained. “I'm always up here doing what I can to improve just trying to do the best that I can.”
Minter placed first in the shot put at every meet he competed this season. His throws at the Clarence Cannon Conference championships and the Class 2 District 2 meet topped the next-best results by nearly seven feet.
After finishing second place at state in the shot put in 2016, Minter is riding high into the finals this season after setting a school record of 54 feet at the Class 2 sectional, which proved enough for first.
“Whenever I got in high school, I told (head coach David) Kirby I would set the bar for the school record, and here I am as a senior and I broke it,” Minter said of the shot put. “It's a dream come true.”
Minter's success carries over into the discus, where he unleashed a personal-best attempt of 162 feet, four inches to place first at districts before also claiming the sectional title with a throw of 145 feet, five inches.
“I was really in rhythm,” he said of his discus throw at the district meet, which fell five feet short of the school record. “I'm trying to break the school record in that. That's the last one I've got.”
The senior continued his record-breaking day at the sectional with a javelin throw of 141 feet, two inches, which set the new Monroe City standard.
Despite only competing in javelin at six meets this season, Minter finished in fourth place at the sectional to earn a shot at the state title.
No matter how the state meet turns out, it inevitably will be Minter's final high school competition, capping a career that already has cemented its place in Panthers history.
“He is arguably one of the best throwers to ever come through, so pretty neat deal,” Kirby said.
But first, there remains unfinished business.
“His goal is simple,” Kirby said of Minter at the state finals. “He's got the farthest throw in the state in both the discus and the shot put for Class 2. He's just going to go out and compete, do the best he can and hopefully he can put really good throws together and, who knows, man, maybe come out on top this year.”
Minter serves as an example of how being coachable and desiring to improve can lead to success, Kirby said.
“It's been really neat to watch him grow from his freshman year, just trying to figure it out, through the sophomore and junior year that were really successful,” the coach mentioned. “Now he's really coming into his own as one of the premier throwers in the state as a senior. That's pretty awesome.”
Credit for Minter's rise must also be shared with Rick Baker, the longtime Monroe City coach who has worked extensively with the standout senior.
“Coach Baker has spent a lot of time with him developing him into the thrower that he's become,” Kirby said. “(Minter) is just like a sponge. We'll tell him one thing, he'll work on that and he'll continue to work on that until he gets it. The success he has are the fruits of his labor over the past couple years.”
Baker noted he's most impressed with how Minter has improved in the discus since his freshman year.
“It's been fun to watch him going from 110 feet to 160 feet,” he said. “You don't see that all the time.”
Minter's success played a key role in lifting the Monroe City boys to a Class 2 sectional title last Saturday, when the Panthers advanced to state in nine events.
The senior's impacted is not limited to track and field, however. Minter also starred on the football team that reached the Class 1 championship this past season and played for the basketball squad that won a district title.
With his time as a Monroe City Panther winding down, Minter said the support of the community around him has been the best part of his Panthers career.
The state meet this weekend will be no different.
“It means a lot, especially everybody I've got behind me — my teammates, my coaches, my family,” he said. “Everybody in this community is really supportive. Everybody comes together, they come watch me throw and come watch the guys run and jump and do what they do. It just makes it even better.”