CHEYENNE – Wade Pollock reset Burns’ shot put record multiple times this spring.
He only got better despite suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and expects to continue that ascent at the next level.
That next step will be the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Pollock signed with the NCAA Division II school Monday afternoon.
“It’s got a pretty good engineering program and some really good shot put throwers for a DII school,” said Pollock, who will study civil engineering. “I think I can learn a lot and get better there both as a thrower and for my future career.”
Proximity to family also factored into Pollock’s choice. His parents also are moving to Nebraska in the near future. Even though they won’t be that close to Kearney, they will be closer to him than if they had remained in Burns.
Pollock placed second at the Class 3A state meet Saturday with a lifetime-best heave of 54 feet, 2 inches. He also was fourth in discus with a toss of 142-4.
Pollock completely tore the ACL in his left knee during his sophomore year, and suffered an 80% tear of the ACL in his right knee during the 2019 football season. His right ACL progressed to a complete tear during a student council-sponsored basketball game, and Pollock wore a brace on that leg the rest of the season.
“I knew I was going to be able to finish the season no matter what,” he said. “I already had a knee brace I could wear so I didn’t hurt that knee any worse if I kept throwing.
“I was a little scared because I thought it might diminish how proactive I was able to be during my throws, but it didn’t really impact me. I set a lot of personal-bests after I tore my ACL, so that was a silver-lining.”
He has surgery scheduled this summer.
Pollock competed for Cheyenne East during the 2020 indoor season, placing second in shot put with a mark of 50-11½. Burns had its own indoor team this winter, and Pollock took fifth at the state meet.
His strength has helped him stand out, but so has his understanding of his events, Burns throws coach Brad Morrison said.
“His knowledge of the sport is just as good as any of the coaches,” Morrison said April 23. “He studies it and loves it. He is almost like having another coach on staff.”