Pictured: Bri Sanderson shares the spotlight with his sister Seven Sanderson and teammate Brooke Wright. The three are among the class 2A state leaders in the throwing events for the Mansfield track team
Mansfield’s monster of a man walks into the discus ring and immediately heads turn. Intimidation by his mere presence is only outweighed by his actions in the ring. So it has gone at the last few track meets for the Tigers and their human catapult.
Bri Sanderson, Mansfield’s chiseled out senior standing 6’ 4” tall and 2 biscuits shy of 280 pounds, has been dominating the discus competition of late. Since entering the ring after this year’s successful basketball season, the former state qualifier has not just been dominating; he has been destroying.
Recent evidence points to his seemingly jet-propelled launch of the 3.5-pound men’s discus at the Waldron hosted Gaile Hainley Relays on April 8. Oohs and aahs came raining down as Sanderson followed through on a 155’ 6” extravaganza.
On March 31, Sanderson got the discus community buzzing as he flamed kissed a “patty melt” 132’ 8” into the outer regions of the Mansfield Tiger Relay’s sector. That power push broke the Mansfield school record established back in the mid-1940s by Wall of Fame member Ardell Blythe. It also beasted the nearest competitor by nearly 33 feet.
But, at Waldron, the heat and the height got even better. Going up against a stronger and longer list of contenders, Sanderson played the intimidation card quite effectively. As the next to last thrower in the best flight, his monster mash stole the attention away from the next man up.
Jaxon Walker, a Caddo Hills junior, was the number one ranked discus player on sight with a newly obtained personal record of 139’ 5” from the Prescott Merchant Relays on April 1.
Walker could only manage a 133’ 7” paving way for Sanderson’s victory by nearly 22 feet.
“Bri has been really putting in the effort this season,” observed Mansfield coach John Mackey. “He made it to state his sophomore season and finished fifth. Last year we were shut down. So, I think he has a little extra motivation to be the best this season.”
Sanderson is now ranked number one in Class 2A. Teammate Shawn Brown, who is rated as the number sixth-best discus thrower according to marks taken this season, has won two meets this year.
Members of Mansfield’s throws team have been headlining the local meets for most of the track season so far this year.
Brooke Wright, a senior off the Mansfield women’s team, has already set a personal record (99’ 3”) and is ranked the second-best discus thrower in class 2A.
The Tiger women actually have four players ranked in the top 10 in class 2A state across all grade levels. Because they all through the same 1kg implement; Wright (senior), Skylynn Harris (junior), Kaylee Ward (seventh grade), and Sarah Fisher (junior) are among the top rankings.
If you include women discus throwers rated above the top 25, Mansfield also has ranked members Brooklyn Adams, Azlynn Stover, Alayna Turner, and Kaylie Lowery.
From the shot put circle, Mansfield’s senior girls have three players ranked in the top five according to best measures marked this season. Harris, Seven Sanderson, and Wright are three through five.
At Waldron’s track meets alone, one for the junior high and the other senior high, Mansfield accumulated 87 total points in just the throws.
Cisco Fildes took second at the Waldron Junior Bulldog Relays with a discus throw of 107’ 10”. Sammy Sellers scored in sixth place in both the discus (95’ 4”) and the shot (36’ 10.5”).
Wright was second in the high school discus (95’ 5”) at Waldron. Fisher was third (81’ 5”).
Seven Sanderson took second at the shot put circle with a season-best 30’ 3”. Wright was third at 29’ 11.5”.
Kaylee Ward won both throws in the junior girls’ division. She surpassed all contestants in the discus with an 83’ 8” toss. Then her shot put throw was another personal record at 36’ 5” for another first-place award.