Last season Hellgate's Zayne Babbitt was ahead of the class in shot put as the state's only 60 foot thrower. Capital's Michael Smith led the charge behind him to place second in state, but no matter who was in front of him, second wasn't enough.
"That really put some fire under my butt to get me going," said Smith. "I've got it written up in my room that I'm taking first, so that's been a goal for me since I started throwing shot put."
That fire has led to Smith leading all of Class AA in the shot put with a 53 foot throw. Not only that, but he's fourth in AA in discus at 152' 9". And he's hoping to become only the second Bruin to place in both events in the past 20 seasons.
"Placing in both is always great," said Smith. "Always getting the points for the team. Yeah, I'd love to place top three, or just place in both events."
"I've only had one kid that placed in both, and if he's able to do that then that's just a tremendous thing," said Capital throwing coach John Joyce. "And I think he has the ability to do both."
Michael was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve in his left eye, leaving him with legally blind in the eye. But when he's throwing, he says he doesn't even notice it.
"I haven't had any problems with sight in shot put," said Smith. "It's not like football where you have to see a guy coming. You just have to put it out there, and put a little grunt into it."
"To me he's always just been Michael, and he's been a good thrower," said Joyce. "It wasn't until he was a junior that I knew he couldn't see out of one eye, and I was like 'Oh, okay.'"
And Michael isn't done with throwing yet. He plans on attending MSU as a part of the track and field team, and even expanding his throwing repetoire.
"I'm going to try and stick with both," said Smith. "I'm also going to try and throw the hammer, which I think will be a new event, but I'm always up for new things."
Second best has never been good enough for Michael. After finishing second in shot put last spring, he's got his eyes on first this year, as he looks to close his high school career as a champion.