Daniel Viveros’ stone-faced concentration throughout his undefeated season paid off with Liberty High’s first state title.
Viveros, a junior at Liberty in Bakersfield, delivered the program’s first state title on his final throw of the shot put that landed at 62 feet, 5 inches at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the campus of Buchanan High School on Saturday (June 2) night. The two-day (June 1-2) California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championships pitted the best high school athletes in track and field events.
“This feels great. I was just staying relaxed and trying to get a good throw out early,” said Viveros, who had sister Alicia Viveros and the entire family cheering from the stands. Alicia, a Mississippi State field competitor, finished fifth on the podium in the shot put and seventh, a single spot from the medals place, in the discus event during last season’s state finals. Daniel finished in third place in the shot put last year.
Daniel’s title throw was below his personal best of 63-10, a feat he established just over two weeks ago at the Central Section Masters meet, but it was enough for the top spot on the podium among the state’s top six shot put finishers.
“I just trust in my technique and trust in my coach,” said Viveros on his consistency to remain undefeated through at least 16 meets this season, “I kind of want to get a good throw off and then just keep on adding to it.”
He worked through the finals with a sore ankle that bothered him between the discus and shot put events. In the discus event, Daniel finished 12th among the 12 finalists at 175-02. His personal best in the discus this season was 184 feet.
After being recognized on the field as the shot put champion, Daniel took time to reflect on his entire season.
“I’m happy with how consistent I was, how I’ve practiced and prepared for the meets. I wish I could have added a couple more feet to my PR (personal record), but I’m still happy,” he said.
He credits his personal best in the shot put to a small adjustment in his delivery.
“My coach changed up my technique a little bit and tried to help me drive my right knee a little more. Today I wasn’t really feeling it,” said Daniel, also a varsity football player for the Patriots.
Being a junior, he’s already looking forward to next season and a potential for a second state title.
“I’ll have another chance to throw farther and maybe win another state championship; maybe a discus championship as well,” he said.