CASPER – Many thought that the state football championship would be the final time that anyone would see Clancy Gines in a Farson-Eden High School jersey. The powerful, athletic senior tore his ACL and meniscus in the final football game of his career, but somehow he didn’t let that stop him.
About a month ago, Gines was cleared by doctors to start participating in the throwing events for the Pronghorns, and after Friday’s performance at state track, he is now a 1A state champion in the shot put.
With heavy rain forecast for Saturday, all field events were moved up to Friday, forcing Gines to compete in both throwing events, along with running the 4x100 relay. It didn’t seem to affect him, though, as he took third in the discus before moving on to his top event – the shot put.
Gines had no problem making it into finals, as his prelim throw of over 43 feet would have placed him in the top-four overall. Nevertheless, there was tough competition at the top, including Saratoga’s Noah Rimmer, who beat him at regionals.
“I was feeling a little down after regionals because that Saratoga kid beat me, but I just worked on my throws all week and it worked out,” Gines said.
Even with a big knee brace on and obviously less mobility than usual, Gines came through in the clutch and still approached his personal record of 45 feet, 11 inches. With Upton’s Jo Bishop throwing a 44-5 in prelims, Gines knew he needed something big in finals and delivered with an effort of 45-3 to claim his title.
Although he is no stranger to this stage, finishing as runner-up in the same event last season, this performance was different. Despite an injury that ends many careers, let alone seasons, Gines managed to get back to a state champion level in just six months.
“It feels good to be able to do something in the athletic world again. I was getting tired of sitting around on my butt,” Gines said. “I went out with a bang and it feels good.”