Samuel Dirkes stood intently inside the ring.
He wore a light gray Silver Creek t-shirt with the word "THROWS" in bold straight down the back.
While his 12 pound ball was likely to land somewhere within the 60 feet of dirt in front of him, he scanned the space beyond the cement blocks that would likely stop his ball from rolling out into the grass.
The Silver Creek senior briefly turned his back on his goal, prompting student helpers to stand further back like outfield players during a elementary school kickball game when the kid with the big leg steps to the plate.
He swung the 12 pound ball from left hand to right and shot it towards the sky before gently tucking it back between his shoulder and his neck. His powerful hands griped the ball before he swung low and to the left, momentum gathering, then back to the right, a little faster this time, then back to the left a little more freely now, into a twist, and then release!
His stood stoically at the edge of the ring and watched his ball land before rolling to the back, as it was only stopped by the cement block.
When one student helper let out a gasp, the other simply replied "That's Sam..."
Indeed, that is Sam. Sam Dirkes, currently the best thrower in the state. Dirkes owns state-leading marks in the shot put and the discus.
When the ball hit the cement block and came to a stop Dirkes stood patiently to wait for the marking. His eyes continued to scan the empty field in front of him, and he brooded like an athlete who would continue on raging for perfection regardless of whatever result the marking revealed, as was the case Saturday afternoon.
When the word came in, Dirkes gently shook his head in disappointment, no perfection yet, and took his ball back to work out the kinks before his next throw. His reaction came despite clearing his competition with ease, though for the best thrower in the state, it was fitting.
Winning alone would not be enough.
Dirkes returned several minutes later and added a few more feet to the mark, but his reaction remained the same each time.
He would go on to topple the previous meet record by nearly three feet with a toss of 55-6, though the rankled response would be his mask on this day, as it was still short of his state-leading mark of 57-3.
When you're the best you expect the best, and anything less feels like a loss, even if it's a win.
His dominating win the shot complimented his dominating win the discus, where he added his name to the list of meet record holders as well with a toss of 156-9.
That was two-for-two for the best thrower in the state at the Lyons Invite at Longmont High School.
The Lyons Invitational may have moved just out of the mountains and 12 miles to the east for Saturday's competition, but the move proved fruitful. The weather was a little warmer, there was less snow on the ground, and the combination provided some of the state's best with ideal conditions, for the final weekend in March in Colorado, to really warm things up.