SALEM NEWS 2013 BOYS SPRING TRACK ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Considered by many to be one of the best track athletes to ever come out of Danvers High, Joe Manson saved his best for last.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder won the shot put at the New Balance Outdoor National Emerging Elite competition in North Carolina last month with a personal best throw of 57 feet 7 1/2 inches. In doing so, Manson came from behind in the final round to win and wound up just over a foot short of breaking the all-time meet record. He also finished 24th in the discus at the same event.
A captain for the Falcons and Northeastern Conference all-star, Manson is the school record holder in both the shot put and the discus (where his best throw this spring was 164 feet 2 inches). He also won the shot at Division 3 states (54-6) and placed fourth at the All-State Meet.
Also a football standout for Danvers High, Manson received a scholarship to Virginia Commonwealth University, where he will continue his throwing career while majoring in criminal justice, with a concentration in forensic investigation and minor in business.
“Winning at nationals was a great feeling and the perfect way to end my high school career. I think I always push myself harder against the best competition,” said Manson, who thanked his parents and his coaches for helping him reach his throwing potential.
Sean Rodgers, who was his football and spring track coach, said hard work and a commitment to excellence have helped Manson achieve his goals.
“Joe is very driven,” said Rodgers. “He sets high expectations for himself and outworks his competition. I really can’t say enough about the type of young man he’s become, never mind the athlete he is.”