LUCASVILLE — Just ahead of his senior track and field season, Valley’s Ryan Benjamin made it official that his throwing career wouldn’t end this spring.
At his signing ceremony inside Valley High School’s gymnasium, Benjamin became the second Indian senior in two years to sign his letter of intent to continue his education and join the men’s track and field team at Walsh University.
Benjamin will join current Cavalier and 2020 Valley grad Jacob Brickey on Walsh’s track and field group, furthering the pipeline from Lucasville to Walsh’s North Canton campus.
“I’m really excited to take the next step in my career. Track and everything else they have to offer, it felt like the right place for me. Academics, the coaches and other track athletes — we just had someone (Brickey) from Valley graduate and go there last year, so that helped me with my decision too. Overall I’m really excited to continue my career there at Walsh.”
Both Benjamin and his former Valley teammate were short-changed one of their high school seasons in 2020 — due to the season cancellation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rather than focus on the negatives of missing one of his campaigns, Benjamin said he’s used the time away from official competition to improve his throwing — and work towards his goals he hopes to achieve this coming season.
“I’ve been waiting on it since last year. Been practicing all summer and fall, up until this point, to get ready for this season,” Benjamin said. “We were at the Indoor State Meet last year when it got cancelled, used it as motivation while getting ready for this season.”
Benjamin is hoping to push towards breaking the school’s shot put record during his senior year, and also improve in his discus lengths — whereas to qualify for the OHSAA Division III state championships.
Both throwing events in the state meet are set for early June.
“Hoping to break the school record in shot put, add on to that and make to state. Hoping with where I’m at, maybe win state and qualify for nationals. In discus, my disc is pretty good but I feel better about my shot. Hoping I can improve and try and break the school record in that, too.”
The Valley senior says he plans to major in Biology with an emphasis in Pre-Med upon enrolling at Walsh, and has his goals set on med school once his track career is finished.
Joined by parents Dana and Rob Benjamin, and coaches Jason Fell and Darren Crabtree, Benjamin said at the signing he was appreciative of the time they’ve spent as he works toward his personal and athletic goals.
“It means a lot, they’ve been here supporting me throughout my whole journey. Especially this last year going through this hard time, been with me and checking on me to make sure I stay on track with everything.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved