In the spring of his sophomore year at Brownstown Central, Ricky Welch decided he wanted to become involved in athletics, so he joined the track and field team.

“I wasn’t playing basketball, and I needed to do something where I was competitive and that was track,” Welch said as his reason for going out for the team.

He found the discus to his liking and has been throwing it the past three years.

More recently he added shot put to his list of events.

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“I grasped discus pretty well, and I’ve been getting better every year,” Welch said.

“I’d say I’ve gotten my spin down better than most guys. I’d say what put me over the top was getting a little stronger, and I think I did better.”

Welch said his longest throw has been 130-2, that was good enough for fifth place in the sectional.

During meets, Welch throws his best toward the end of competition.

“I feel like my third throw is usually my best,” Welch said.

On his throws, consistency played key to scoring for the Braves.

“When I set my feet I always make sure I try to look right above my throw line,” Welch said. “You never want to look down because you won’t have control of the discus. I’ve always been good at getting a good arc on it, but I’ve had times where I’ve thrown it straight up.

“Wind can drive it real far or bring it straight down.”

In the shot put, Welch’s furthest toss was 34-3.

“I glide,” Welch said of his technique. “I’ve tried spinning, but it’s a totally different set up.”

Welch said you need to be in good physical shape for throwing events, which begins with strong legs.

“You’ve got to make sure your legs are real strong,” Welch said. “Legs are a real help, and the best things for your arms are curls and doing push ups.”

Welch ran cross-country for the first time last fall and said he regrets not running in prior seasons.

“I mainly did it to get in shape,” he said. “I love competition, it was a lot of competition, and it was fun. I wish I would have done it more than one year.”

He worked his way into the top seven in 2014.

“At the end of the season I was five or six,” Welch said. “I tried my best, and I think I improved five or six minutes from the beginning of the season.”

His best time was 21 minutes.

Welch said it was a learning process figuring out how to run 3.1 miles.

“It was kind of hard to adjust, but it was a good time,” he said. “I tried to keep my times close to each other. You don’t want to go too hard on the first mile because then there is going to be a great difference in the other two miles.

“My first mile was usually my best. The third mile was usually my worst.”

For Welch, good practices lead to strong performances.

“Without practice in discus you’re pretty much hopeless,” Welch said. “You’ve really got to get that form down, otherwise you’re not going to throw more than 80 feet.

“You need to remain focused and make sure you are doing the best you can. That is the most important thing. You can’t be worried about what anyone else is throwing.”

The past four years in Brownstown have been rewarding for the senior inside and out of athletics.

“I like it here,” he said. “I wouldn’t wanted to have gone anywhere else. The teachers are great and I’ve made great friends too. Everyone knows everyone else, basically. The track team is great. We’re a pretty close bunch.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”At a glance” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Ricky Welch

School: Brownstown Central High School

Parents: Rick and Tassie Welch

Siblings: Samantha, Tiffani

Sports: Track and field, three years; cross-country, one year

Favorite away track: Bedford North Lawrence

Favorite cross-country course: Seymour

Organizations: Booster Club, Robotics Club

Plans after high school:Aattend Indiana University

Favorite food: Bacon cheeseburger

Favorite TV show: “Survivor”

Favorite move: “Kingsman: The Secret Service”

Favorite athlete: Peyton Manning

Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers

Favorite book: “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”

Favorite quote: “What needs to happen has the possibility of happening.”


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