Columbia County's top track and field star is at it again.
Reese Hoffa, a graduate of Lakeside High School, has long been considered the best shot putter in the history of the county after he won a state championship 10 years ago.
His resume now includes a trip to Sydney, Australia, as a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team. He's also been ranked No. 1 in the world by at least two different ranking organizations.
In June, Hoffa won his first U.S.A. Outdoor Championship.
He topped that last week.
Hoffa beat his personal best mark with a throw of 22.43 meters (73 feet, 7.25 inches) at the Norwich Union Super Grand Prix in London last weekend. The throw also ranked No. 11 in the recordable history of the sport.
Hoffa said this might be only the beginning.
"I'm hoping I'm just scratching the surface in terms of how I'm throwing," he said. "Hopefully, I can get a lot more consistent in terms of big throws at major championships. The last two major outdoor championships I didn't do quite as well as I wanted to, but I call them learning experiences."
Hoffa will get another shot later this month at the 2007 Outdoor World Championships in Osaka, Japan. He left for Japan this weekend to prepare for his biggest competition of the summer.
"This is the one I'm majorly focused on," he said. "As long as I don't mess anything up and try not to overthink things in terms of what I'm doing technically I think I should be fine."
After this month's competition, Hoffa said, he still has the Indoor World Championship and the Olympic trials before he sets his sights on a possible trip to Beijing, China, for the 2008 Olympics.
It's a far throw from the Lakeside practice field to the Olympics, and one that Hoffa said he never really planned.
"I took a very simple approach," he said. "Let's just try to be the best in the county and work my way up from there."
Hoffa fans might be able to watch the former Lakeside Panther on television as he competes in the 2007 World Outdoor Championships. NBC announced it will bring live and taped coverage of the event from Japan on Aug. 25 through Sept. 2.
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