One last shot put throw for Norwalk's Trey Leroux

Mark Hazelwood • Updated May 29, 2019 at 9:41 PM

NORWALK — Trey Leroux has done his best to block out the obvious.

But come Saturday, it will be hard to ignore.

The Norwalk junior will take his throws in the shot put at the Division I state track and field championships on Saturday. He will be the very first thrower in the 12 p.m. competition at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus.

And while there is an ’11’ next to his name on the heat assignments as a junior — there is an obvious catch. The 6-foot-8, 335-pound Leroux is an offensive tackle recruit for the Ohio State football team, and he will early enroll at the school in January 2020.

That means this weekend is essentially his senior season of track and field, as his Norwalk athletic career will end in the fall with football.

“Not really, no,” Leroux said when asked if the thought has crossed his mind on his track career ending. “I never really paid attention to the year, I just always want to try my best in every sport.

“With track especially, I didn’t necessarily do as well as I had hoped in past years with breaking fingers and things like that,” he added. “So this year it’s all kind of coming together, and it just so happens to be my last year of track.”

Between weather and missing a couple Saturday Invitationals because of football commitments, Leroux said he’s made up the time elsewhere that he’s lost in actual competition.

“We always found a way to get extra work in, whether it was (assistant) Coach (Joe) Kaiser staying after and working more with me, or I’d come before I had to go to Ohio State, things like that,” he said. “We always found time to practice. I think it was about the same workload as any other sport.”

At the regional championship meet last Friday in Amherst, Leroux went for the jugular right away. His first throw was 55-feet-8.5-inches. His next five throws produced a top distance of 54-feet-11.75, but that initial throw not only was good enough for state — but regional runners-up to Rocky River’s Michael Shoaf and his 60-feet-8.5 toss.

The week before on May 17, Leroux left an indelible mark on the Norwalk track and field program. He won the district title at Findlay with a toss of 56-feet-2.5. That was not only good for a new school record, but it also set the stadium record at the Cooper Tire Complex by 3.25 feet.

“I feel I can get up in the 60s with a good throw and release, but there is a lot that goes into that with form and everything,” Leroux said. “I think there is a great chance of anyone succeeding — it just takes that one good throw in meets like this.”

Another unique aspect hard to miss this weekend for Leroux is the location of the event. His high school track career is ending where his football career will extend for the Buckeyes.

Since committing to Ohio State on March 11, Leroux has gotten plenty of extra attention wherever he goes. That certainly will continue this weekend as he throws not far from the football practice facility.

“I’ve gotten used to the extra attention by now,” he said. “t’s not as overwhelming just because it happens every day and you’re used to it happening like that now.

“It will be nice to get to Columbus and visit there and look around the campus beyond a football visit,” Leroux added. “I’ll see more things with myself and coaching staff and learning more about the campus itself while throwing at the track.”

Entering Saturday, Leroux’s regional throw is the sixth-best among the 18 competitors in the two flights. He has the second-best throw in his flight.

The top eight will earn a spot on the podium as an All-Ohioan.

“It would be amazing accomplishment for sure,” Leroux said. “With my brother being All-Ohio in two sports (football and wrestling) and everything else that has happened, it’s been a special year for our school and my family. That would be great.”

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