It's been a busy senior year for Astoria's Colton McMaster.
It all started with football, where the 6-foot-3, 270-pound McMaster played receiver, tight end, running back, defensive tackle and punter.
“They tried to keep me on the field as much as they could,” said McMaster, a 4A Cowapa League first-team pick at receiver and punter.
In the winter, he switched to basketball. A three-year starter at center, McMaster finished his career at No. 5 on Astoria's all-time scoring list. He's also the school's career leader in points per game at 16.4.
Now he has moved on to track, where he hopes to go out with a bang.
Last year, McMaster not only set school records in the shot (58 feet, 9 ¾ inches) and discus (192-10), but he won both events in the season-ending 4A Showcase meet. He led the state in the discus – for all classifications – and was second in the shot to Sherwood's Noah Culbertson, who has graduated.
This season, the possibilities are intriguing.
“I'm really hoping for over 200 in the discus,” he said. “That's one of my biggest goals. And over 60 in the shot, for sure.”
McMaster had a solid start to his season last week, winning the shot (56-9) and discus (177-6) and placing second in the javelin (141-7) in the Northwest Opener meet at Scappoose. His marks in the shot and discus were the best in the state through the first week of the season.
“For only being back at it two weeks after my basketball season, I felt like I did about as good as I could have,” McMaster said. “I'm a little bit heavier than I was last year, but I'm also a tiny bit stronger than I was. I had some elbow injuries in football, and had to take some time off to heal from those. So I'm just now getting back into working out.”
McMaster is tightening up his technique.
“The biggest thing I can see right now is I over-rotate out of the back in the discus, and that's probably losing me, sheesh, I don't even know how much,” he said.
“It's kind of something that I've always done and never really thought about it until one of my throwing buddies told me, 'Hey, I don't understand how you're able to over-rotate that bad and still throw 170 feet.' I'm trying to learn how to rotate my shot, too.”
After his sophomore season was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, McMaster showed dramatic improvement as a junior, adding 13 feet in the shot and 47 feet in the discus. Two years after placing seventh in the discus in the 4A meet, he won the discus and shot at the 4A Showcase.
Winning the 4A Showcase “meant a lot to me after my freshman year,” he said. “I was competing with everybody there, but in my mind, I was also competing with everybody from my freshman season.”
McMaster participated in The Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field on July 3, finishing eighth in the discus (178-7) and 10th in the shot (58-7 ½).
“It was awesome. It was so cool,” McMaster said. “I got to meet a lot of the guys that I competed with at virtual nationals my sophomore year. There were a couple guys there that I had previously talked to but I hadn't seen in person.”
McMaster was not in peak form, though, considering his basketball season ran through the end of June.
“I really didn't get a whole lot of practice,” he said. “Of course I was still practicing here and there, but with basketball practice two hours a day, five days a week, I was getting my time eaten up, especially working full-time.”
Finding time to practice throwing has always been somewhat of an issue for McMaster.
“I know I'm one of the only people that does three sports and competes at the level I do,” he said.
McMaster, who plans to throw in college at Dartmouth, is looking to fortify his school records in the shot and discus. He also believes he has a chance at the school record in the javelin, although his best (147-11) is about 30 feet off.
For now, he is trusting in his process.
“If I PR by an inch or a foot, I'm happy,” he said. “As long as I do better than I did last time.”