Randy Barnes

Charleston Gazette
June 1, 1985

Barnes shatters '57 discus mark

Randy Barnes demolished a 28-year-old record in the West Virginia Track and Field Championships Friday at Laidley Field and said he felt "so relieved."

Barnes surpassed Bill Fields' hallowed 1957 discus record of 175 on his first official throw in the 1985 state meet. It sailed 178-4 and he later lengthened his newly established record to 181-7.

"I couldn't hardly even get happy," the 290-pound senior from St. Albans High School said, in expressing his relief at adding the Class AAA boys' discus record to the shot put standard bearing his name.

Fields, now a lawyer from Marietta, Ohio, was on hand to congratulate Banes. Fields, a 245-pounder, broke the 14-year-old discus record of Russ Thomas, now in the management of the Detroit Lions' football team.

"I've had a lot of great memories," Fields said. "I' glad to finally meet Barnes - I've seen him in pictures. West Virginia needed somebody like him to improve the discus record and its image in high school track and field."

Barnes won the discus by almost 24 feet. Pat Banks of Martinsburg was runner-up with a showing of 157-11.

Barnes got off one monumental heave, but it glanced off a retaining wall in the adjoining shot put area and wasn't counted. Earlier in the season, he sailed the discus into a nearby house in a warmup throw.

Barnes, the Class AAA boys' state meet record-holder in the shot put, will attempt to lengthen his record of 61-7 at 12:30 p.m. today.

Whatever he does, he already ranks as the state's greatest high school weightman....