WINTER PARK — Kamran Joyer didn't so much end his prep athletic career with a bang as he did with a bark.
Actually, it was more like a guttural yelp, which the brawny Wesley Chapel senior unleashed as the 12-pound metallic orb left his hand for the final time. As it ascended skyward, Joyer said, it felt like the best shot put attempt of his life.
The tape measure confirmed it.
On a sweltering, surreal day at Showalter Field, Joyer capped his high school career with a state title. His final shot put attempt — 59 feet, 71/2 inches — not only represented his personal-best effort but traveled nearly 7 feet farther than any other try.
"It feels unbelievable," said Joyer, a former Wildcats offensive lineman headed to USF on a football scholarship. "That was my goal the whole year."
Joyer's multi-medal performance — he placed seventh in the discus — highlighted a solid if not spectacular day by local competitors.
Another thrower, Land O'Lakes senior Reta Woodard, placed third and fifth, respectively, in the discus and shot put. Central sophomore Tiki Relaford was third in the girls high jump.
Woodard's fellow Gator, senior Felix Soto, capped one of the school's greatest distance-running careers with a fifth-place finish in the 1,600 (in a personal-best 4:22.38) and ninth-place effort in the 3,200 (9:59.88). Soto, who will continue running at USF, finishes his prep career with five top-10 finishes at the state meet.
"I can't be disappointed for the (1,600). I tried all I could, and I (set a personal record)," said Soto, third at the half-mile mark before fading a bit near the second turn of the final lap.
"In the (3,200), it didn't go my way. But like I said, I'll only be disappointed for a while and then I can reflect on what I did for the whole season."
Elsewhere, Lakewood boasted a pair of third-place finishers in junior Kelvin White (boys 110 hurdles) and senior Darryl Evans (shot put). Spartans senior Frank Minton placed fifth in the 100 (10.76) in an immensely talented field featuring USF football signee Lindsey Lamar, disqualified for a false start.
Tarpon Springs junior Maryah Finch was fourth in the girls 800, while Spongers classmate Marianna Karavokiros placed fourth in the long jump (18-4.25).
Ridgewood sophomore Karissa Bertling placed fifth in the girls 400 (57.78 seconds) for her first state medal.