At 6-foot-6 and 280 pounds, Wyatt Musser isn’t rattled by much, but that could change come Saturday.
The Kamiakin High School junior will throw the discus at the prestigious Arcadia Invite in California, and the competition will be unlike anything he faces in the Mid-Columbia.
“I have competition with guys in Spokane, but not a lot in the Tri-Cities where I can compete hard,” he said. “Down there, there will be guys throwing 180 (feet) — that is above my pay grade. Here, it is show and tell. Down there, it will be watch and learn.”
Musser will be joined by Kamiakin teammate Heather Donais. The senior will compete in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
Never miss a local story.
“I am equally excited and nervous,” Donais said. “This is big for me. There are girls there who go to the Junior Olympics, and I’m from the Tri-Cities. It will make me a better hurdler.”
The Arcadia Invite, which began in 1968, has had several high-profile athletes come out of its starting blocks, including Allyson Felix, Marion Jones, Sam Crouser and Ellensburg’s Ja’Warren Hooker.
Musser, who started throwing in middle school, didn’t take the sport seriously until last season. He started the year throwing in junior varsity meets, but it didn’t take long for him to earn a varsity spot.
By the end of the season, he took second place at the Class 3A state meet with a throw of 165-1.
“When I was in middle school, I didn’t really like track,” Musser said. “I was more of a football guy. Then I got hurt playing football and I put more into track. This is fun. I don’t think of it as keeping in shape for football anymore.”
When he started to get more serious about track, he would — and still does — watch YouTube videos of the great throwers. He also has been to several camps.
While track could be his future, schools still are after him to play football. He’s an offensive tackle for the Braves.
“I just went to Junior Day at Boise State, and it went well,” Musser said. “I love both sports. It will be a hard decision.”
Donais, who has signed to play soccer at Northern Arizona, might also run track, but for now, the reigning 3A state champion in both hurdles events will put her talents to the test Saturday.
“I don’t see it as competition against other people, just the clock,” Donais said. “These girls will push me, and that’s what I need. I have been training hard. I’m hoping to do good for me. I’m a big competitor, and I don’t like to lose. I will compete.”
Donais will be joined by her mom, Joyce, who also is the Kamiakin hurdles coach.
“Me and mom, this is our adventure before I go off to college,” Donais said. “We will do a little shopping stress relief (today).”
Musser and Donais follow in the footsteps of former Kamiakin athletes Ellie Heiden and Megan Beauchene, who competed at the Arcadia meet in 2014. Heiden was fifth in the 400 and 20th in the 200. Beauchene finished seventh in the mile and 10th in the 800.