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Latest Wall could best his brothers

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 10, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- Forgive Al Claggett if he gets confused. Coaching three different discus throwers with the last name Wall in the same decade can do that to a coach.

"Bottle that one up," Claggett says after his latest prodigy has executed a nearly flawless throw of more than 145 feet during Wednesday's practice. "Another 2 degrees equals 10 feet. Remember that, Todd ... I mean, Scott ... I mean ... oh heck."

Actually, this Wall is Scotty, the Land O'Lakes senior competing in his first state meet Friday at the Class 3A Florida Finals at Coral Springs High's Jim Caldwell Field.

Wall is following in familiar footsteps. His older brothers both competed in the state meet wearing the blue and gold of the Gators. Todd Wall holds the family, and thus school, record, with a throw of 156 feet in 1993. Matt Wall had a throw of 145 in 1990.

Now it's Scotty, who finally seems to have it all together after a successful outing at last week's Class 3A, Region 3 meet at Sarasota Booker

Wall took third,with a personal best of 140-101/2. Wall had struggled while throwing the discus between 125-133 through most of his career, not far off of the Pine View Middle School record of 131 he set.

"He's been up and down," Claggett said. "He's been inconsistent. He's had a lot of trouble getting everything right in his spin. He had trouble getting his torque down, and he had a very poor throw at conference. That got him working hard and focused."

So focused that he won a district title and now hopes to do what no Wall brother has done before: place in the top eight at state and earn a medal. Wall said he is confident he can do it. All it took was one good throw.

"I've been inconsistent all year," he said. "At regionals, it was the same. But I don't know. Everything seemed right and went real smooth with that one throw.

"Everything kind of worked out for me. I don't know. I knew it was my best throw by the way it felt and hearing it (Wall nods at Claggett) in the background."

But Wall also wants to break the Wall family record. That means addding about 16 feet to his throw. It is no easy feat. But Wall and his coach don't think it's that hard of a feat, either.

"It's a lot of things that have to go right," Wall said. "But if you get everything right, it works fine. I jumped up 7 feet in the regional meet in one throw."

Added Claggett: "The wind could do it. The throw could do it. It all depends on the conditions."

Wall, who starred at defensive end for the football team, said he has always enjoyed the sport; ever since he was a kid, watching his brothers toss the discus for the Gators.

"It's a competition. It's something that takes a lot of technique," he said. "It's not all strength. You go to a lot of meets and see those big guys there, and they think they're going to throw 10 times what you are. But I wailed on them. Ever since I was a freshman, I was pretty decent."

But now he can be very good.

"Yeah, that one throw really boosted me up," he said. "I thought I was going to end up seventh. But when I made that throw, I heard them tell me, 'Good luck, you're going to state.'

"Ever since, I've been excited to go."

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