Buckles just beginning to bud in track & field

Published 12:47 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

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Just one quick glance at Elizabethton High School sophomore Landry Buckles and it doesn’t take long to figure out that this kid has to be an athlete with a stance that includes a thick body and bulging muscles in his arms and legs.
In other words, he is just built to be an athlete.
Buckles proved what an athlete he is turning out to be in the recent sectional and state track & field meet; in the sectional meet, he bested the 50-year-old mark of his coach Jim Presnell when he launched the discus 167.7 feet to break the mark set in 1973 by Presnell as well as setting a new sectional meet record.
That throw propelled Buckles to Murfreesboro this past week where he continued to set a personal-best record and break his own school record with a toss of 167-8 to capture the title of State Champ in the discus.
But Presnell, for one, was not surprised by Buckles’s accomplishment as he sees this is only the beginning of what could be a historic finale in the athlete’s high school career barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances.
“Landry is very coachable and listens to what you try and tell him and then tries to do it,” said Presnell. “The boy has the fastest twisted muscle fibers of any athlete that I have ever seen. He has a good work ethic and is a student of the event as there is just so much material on YouTube and social media about throwing the discus and shot put. It’s a complicated event because there are so many elements to getting better. The little things will make a difference between a nationally-ranked thrower and a state champion.”
Although Buckles has excelled in the discus, Presnell believes that he is the type of athlete that will be able to also get the shot put event down and claim a state title in that event before he leaves Elizabethton High School.
“He throws the shot put too, but that has not come as natural to him as the discus,” Presnell said. “I anticipate that he will be a state champion in the shot as well – we will just have to figure it out.”
The throwing coach also said that he and Buckles still have a goal in mind when it comes to the discus and that if Buckles continues to work on his technique, that the goal will be within reach.
“We want Landry to be the first boy in the state of Tennessee to throw the discus 200 feet,” said Presnell. “We feel that is something obtainable if he doesn’t get hurt and he continues to develop his technique. To get the next step he will have to stay in the weight room and continue to increase his muscle.”
Now with the track season over, Buckles will return to another love and that is being a member of the Cyclone football program. Being the type of athlete that he is, Presnell believes that Buckles will have several options to choose from athletically when he graduates from high school.
“We got home from the state at 12:30 am and he was at football practice early the next morning,” said Presnell. “I believe that he has the ability to be a highly recruited athlete with his physical ability.
“It’s too early now, but there will be a lot of people who will have their eye on him.”

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