Name: Parker Gonser
School: Windsor High School
Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?
My first throw over 50ft in the shot put has to be up there for me. Not only was that my PR but it was the last throw in finals which also won the competition. It was a big time throw for me at the time and it also helped me move up in the state rankings.
Another memorable moment for me was standing on the podium at state for both discus and shot put and being recognized with the top throwers in the state.
Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
I would say in general my biggest competition has been the Roosevelt H.S. throws program since they have produced some big throwers over the past four years like Justin Podojil, Mikey DeRock, and James Heater. Justin and I have thrown against each other since my freshman year and it has been a great competition every meet we have been at together. Another thrower that has been a great competitor was James Hochanadel. We have had a couple of meets where it all came down to our final throws.
Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?
I think my greatest accomplishment during track was making podiums at state in both throws events. It has been a dream of mine since my brother, Landon Gonser (Greeley Central - 2014), competed at state during his high school years and made podium in multiple events. It just feels great and fulfilling standing up there knowing that you are one of the best in the state and that my hard work has paid off.
Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?
I don't think I would change a thing. Everything I have had to go through, every victory, or even every loss, has shaped me into who I am today. The only thing I wish I could change now under these circumstances, is to enjoy the last three years to the fullest. Especially my junior year looking back at it as my last high school year. Yet, everything I have done to this point has given me a chance to throw at the college level and I am grateful.
Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
I can think of only one thing that was an obstacle to me and that was the transition from junior high to high school in terms of the implements. Every thrower has had to go through this as well and know how difficult it is. The weights of the discus and shot put are increased and technique becomes the most important thing in the throw. It is the only event where the event itself changes really from middle school, to high school, and to college and that change was difficult at the beginning.
Q) What will you miss the most?
I am going to miss my throws coach the most. Jones plays an important role for the entire school since he is a teacher, football coach, and the throws coach. He has really helped me improve significantly over the past years and I don't know if I would have the success I've had without him. I am also going to miss the feeling of a high school meet. Where the whole team can watch and cheer on everyone and just being able to compete with my friends will be missed.
Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?
I would tell younger athletes that they must make themselves vulnerable to change. Throwing is such a strange event where if it feels uncomfortable, that means you are probably doing it right, like pushing the shot put into your neck. I would also tell younger athletes that learning is the most important thing to become successful. Perfecting the technique, in any event, will make you a better athlete and student of the sport.
Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
My coach has given me so many lessons that I can use not just in throwing but in my life too. He has always been someone anyone can talk to him about something and that just shows how good of a person Jones is. I have learned to always be practicing because I can always better myself.
Q) What are your college plans?
I am committed to Chadron State College to participate in Track and Field and study Sports Management.
Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
I would like to say thank you to my family first and foremost. I do not have the words to thank them since they have done everything they could have to help me and shape me into the person I am today. I truly am grateful for that. I would also like to thank my coaches at Windsor for everything they have done for me and my team. The track program is in great hands there.