Better than before

Ryder Emberton continues to make life difficult for future shot putters at Whiteland Community High School.

At least for those who want to break the school record.

A junior, Emberton shattered his own school record at the Zionsville track and field Invitational on April 29 with a distance of 58 feet, 3 inches.

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This dwarfed the 54-2 Emberton came through with last season in a three-way meet with Franklin and Southport. Even smaller in the program’s rear-view mirror is the record Emberton’s father, Robert, held for 21 years.

Robert Emberton’s mark of 51-4¼ feet was established at the 1994 Columbus North Sectional.

“When I broke the shot put record my sophomore year I never thought I would get that far again,” Ryder Emberton said.

That was until he won his specialty at the Johnson County Meet with a top put of 56-9½ only 10 days prior to the Zionsville meet.

“That gave me confidence,” he said.

With the postseason starting May 13 at what will be the first track sectional hosted by Whiteland, the 5-foot-11, 240-pound Emberton is eager to take care of unfinished business.

At last year’s Columbus North Sectional, Emberton fouled on all four of his shot put attempts, which quickly halted that part of his season. However, his distance of 149 feet, 10 inches, in the discus placed him second.

Emberton would go on to take third at the Connersville Regional (159-5) and 11th at the IHSAA Boys Track and Field State Finals (154-1) at Indiana University.

Through it all, Emberton, who admits to preferring shot put over discus, gained the confidence to be a contender in both events should he make it back to Bloomington.

“Going there last season was a great experience. It was pretty cool,” he said. “I plan to get second in the shot this year and maybe top five in discus.”

Emberton spent many hours during the winter improving his form in both events by making puts and throws into a net inside his school’s auxiliary gymnasium.

Among those monitoring his progress were Whiteland track coach Brandon Bangel, assistant coach Mike Hand and Robert Emberton.

Ryder’s personal-best in the discus is now 168-3, having accomplished this during the same Zionsville meet. The toss enabled him to gain ground on another Warriors standard — the 171-9 his old man covered at the Jennings County Relays in 1995.

Bangel said he expects the improvement demonstrated by the younger Emberton this season to continue.

“Ryder’s focus and work ethic have been significantly better this season. Last year he was just going through the motions at times,” Bangel said. “This season he’s worked harder than I’ve ever seen him work.

“He’s a year older now and realizes he has a chance to do well. Ryder is a very coachable kid who can adjust to change his technique if he has to very quickly.”

Ryder Emberton pullout


Name: Ryder Emberton

Age: 18

Born: Greenwood

Family: Parents, Robert and Tracy; sisters, Reagan, 15, and Saylor, 13

Favorite TV show: “Shark Tank”

Favorite food: Mexican

Favorite movie: “Remember the Titans”

Favorite athlete: Dwight Freeney

Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts

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Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at