St. Pius X High School thrower Tanner Duffin was named the Most Outstanding Field Athlete by the Atlanta Track Club last week.
Duffin, who recently signed to throw at the University of Michigan, received the honor for the second consecutive year. In May, Duffin won the AAAA state championships in both the shot put and discus. He had the second farthest throws in the nation in both events. On Sunday, we asked Duffin about the honor, his high school throwing career, and his future as a collegiate athlete.
Q: What does it mean to you to be named the Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year?
A: “It means the world to me. When you have such a strong passion for a sport, to be recognized as one of the best it truly feels amazing.”
Q: What did you improve most in your senior year?
A: “I improved most in the shot put, setting a personal record by 9 feet and being the only thrower in Georgia to throw over 70 feet.”
Q: What was the most challenging part of throwing your senior year?
A: “The most challenging part of throwing this past year was being patient for the far throws and continuing to work hard even when the distances weren’t coming all at once.”
Q: Where does this accolade rank among everything you have
accomplished as an athlete?
A: “This accolade is definitely a highlight of my year; it is truly an amazing award to receive. With everything I have accomplished in my high school career, it is definitely very high on my list of top achievements.”
Q: What made the University of
Michigan a good fit for you to
continue your throwing career?
A: “I visited Michigan and I loved it. I felt it in my gut. To me, it wasn’t even about the facilities, even though the coach and the facilities were amazing. But really, it was actually the athletes. The throwers sat me down and told me, ‘If you aren’t going to come here and work your butt off, if you aren’t going to commit and try to be one of the best in the nation, if you aren’t going to try to beat everybody, then don’t come here.’ I said okay, this is it! You have already made my decision. This is where I want to be, a place where everyone has the same mindset that I do.”