From left, Cy Conrad Jr. (Class of 2024), Cy Conrad Sr. (Class of 1995), Collin Jones (Class of 2024), Brad Jones (Class of 1998), Quentin Lehman (Class of 2023) and Christa (Lehman) Hershberger (Class of 1993) at the April 11 home tri-meet with Norwayne and Waynedale. The three younger Dalton throwers each have a relative who also made names for themselves as throwers at Dalton.
By ARIEL STAHLER
Gazette & News sports writer
Senior discus thrower Quentin Lehman went into Dalton’s April 18 track and field tri-meet with Northwestern and Hillsdale with a goal to throw at least two inches farther than his personal record of 159’ 9”. Not only did he shatter his old personal best with a 169’ 9” throw, but he also set a new school record.
Lehman, who is known as Q to his friends, set his previous personal record at the 2022 Division III district meet at Norwayne. At the time, his 159’ 9” throw earned him a third-place district finish and a spot at the regional meet. This was not only a personal record for Lehman, but it also surpassed the previous Dalton record of 152’ 10” set by Brendan Good in 2018.
Lehman’s first measured throw of the 2023 season was 151’ 6” at the McCay Relays April 8.
Coach Amy Greer said the coaches hoped Lehman could start this season where he left off last year and he did exactly what they wanted. The cool weather conditions on the day of the April 18 tri-meet were ideal for Lehman as it helps him focus on the proper technique it takes to move through the throw and have a big finish, according to Greer. He had many positive warm-up throws, but there were some less-than-ideal throws mixed in, which Lehman responded by putting in work to correct them.
“He is very disciplined when those bad ones happen,” Greer said. “He will go find a practice ring or an open spot to walk through the six pillars of the throw to fix the areas that need addressed.”
Upon taking his first throw of the meet, Lehman had already broken the record with a throw of 159’. After the event workers announced the distance, Greer said Lehman exclaimed “Finally!” The second attempt went out of bounds. It was then time for Lehman to take his third attempt. He stepped into the ring and threw his record-setting distance of 169’ 9”. Lehman’s reaction to the throw summed up the entire moment: “Holy cow.” Greer reminded Lehman to take a moment to refocus before his final attempt to avoid a repeat of throwing out of bounds.
The pep talk did the trick as his fourth attempt measured 155’ 11”. All three throws were enough to break the former record. As of April 19, the throw of 169’ 9” placed Lehman with the third farthest throw in Division III so far this year in Ohio.
“Being consistent is also something that a thrower works hard to accomplish, so you know that the big one wasn’t just a fluke,” Greer said. “This was not the case on Tuesday as he had three solid throws that each would have broken the school record.”
Breaking this record is something Lehman has worked towards for years. His freshman season was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, so he was not able to start his high school track and field career until his sophomore year. However, Greer recalls an interaction with Lehman that set this goal in motion before he even reached high school. At this time, Lehman was in eighth grade and Greer was the middle school athletic director. After a middle school track meet at Canal Fulton
Northwest, Lehman asked a question that demonstrated his desire to succeed at discus.
“After the competition had ended, Q ran over to me and said, ‘Hey Mrs. Greer, do you think you could purchase me a metal discus to throw?’” said Greer. “My response was ‘Well have you thrown one of the black rubber discus a hundred feet?’
Q was quick to reply ‘No, but I used someone’s metal disc from here and I think I could get it if I had one to practice with.’ I told him no, I would not. He was literally crushed by my unexpected reply. The reason why I said no was because with just a few meets left, he would be a high schooler and the middle school 1 kilo size disc would be replaced with a 1.6 kilo disc. At that time neither one of us knew that I would actually become his coach all through his high school career and I have never thrown a discus in my life. However, I did purchase him that new discus before the end of his sophomore year.”
Lehman has spent years of training leading up to the point of breaking the school record. He has attended throws camp with his coaches and teammates for the past two summers. His coaches have also reviewed videos with him to analyze his throws for positive aspects and errors to fix. When they find an area for him to improve, Lehman does drills to build muscle memory.
Not only does Lehman strive to improve his skills, but he also encourages his teammates, as well.
“Quentin pushes himself and his teammates every day to be better throwers, but most importantly, better people,” Greer said. “He truly has a gift of teaching. His peers respect him and his advice.”
The individual record was not the only record-breaking event Lehman has been a part of this season. He also was part of a trio with juniors Collin Jones and Cy Conrad who broke Dalton’s discus relay record with a combined distance of 393’ 9” at the McCay Relays.
“At the start of the season the boys knew that they only had one chance to break the record as we only have one meet that is a relay meet on our season schedule,” Greer said. “They accomplished this goal on their first throws of the meet. It was really cool to see how they were focused to accomplish this once in the season opportunity. The boys keep asking me if we can find another relay meet to try and break the shot put record before this season ends. ‘We’ll see,’ I tell them. We need to focus on the now and what meets we have next.”
As if breaking the school record was not exciting enough, Lehman, Jones and Conrad also have another connection. All three athletes have a relative who is either on the Dalton High School Sports Wall of Fame for placing at the state track and field meet or they are a current or previous record holder.
Quentin’s aunt Christa (Lehman) Hershberger, who graduated from DHS in 1993, qualified for the state meet in 1991, 1992 and 1993 in either the shot put, discus or both events. At the 1991 state meet, Hershberger finished sixth place in the shot put with a toss of 38’ 11 ¾”. She is the current throws coach for Waynedale.
Collins’ father Brad Jones holds the current school shot put record of 55’ 11” which he set during his senior season in 1998. He finished fifth at the state meet that same season. Brad Jones was also part of the shot put relay with teammates
Matt Indorf and Brad Mumaw that set the school record in 1997 with a distance of 140’ 11”.
Cy’s father Cy Conrad Sr. broke Dalton’s discus record during his junior season in 1994 with a distance of 150’ 1”.