Over a four-month period, Canfield’s Dustin Brode won three state titles (two indoor, one outdoor), finished runner-up in another event and set the Ohio outdoor record in the shot put.
But it was on a Saturday in March that he stepped out of Ohio and stepped into history.
At the Nike Indoor Nationals in Boston — about a 10-minute train ride from his future school, Harvard University — Brode won the national indoor shot put title with a throw of 64 feet, 10 1/2 inches.
Less than three months later, on a warm day just outside Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, he put the shot 71 feet, 7 1/2 inches to break the state record and capture the Division I crown.
“It was great,” Brode said in June, when asked to reflect on his historic season. “Every week I would set a goal, and sometimes I would hit it and sometimes I wouldn’t. But I would make some pretty big jumps here and there, and I’d have milestones to hit for me and my long-term goals.”
Brode won indoor titles in the shot put and weight throw, and finished runner-up in the discus in June. In mid-July, he was named to the All-USA track and field team by the USA Today.
But the notoriously self-criticial Brode had trouble enjoying much of it, often focusing on the marks he didn’t reach than his medals.
“When people put things in perspective, I sat back and realized I accomplished something special,” Brode said after the national meet. “After I thought about it, I was tremendously happy.”