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BOILING SPRING LAKES — South Brunswick High School senior Colin Minor signed a letter of intent Tuesday, Jan. 7, to attend Dartmouth College and compete in the field events of shot put, discus throw and hammer throw.
“It’s hard to pass up an Ivy League education like that,” Minor said.
Minor has had a successful career in field events for the Cougars.
He won the shot put championship in May 2013 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 3A state track and field championships at the Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T State University. Minor won the shot put with a mark of 55 feet, 5 inches, a personal best. The Class 3A record is 60-4.25.
Minor finished second in the discus throw with a mark of 154-10.
He holds the state record for the hammer throw and is a national champion in the hammer throw.
In June 2013, Minor won the hammer throw at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Youth Trials at Southern Illinois University on the Edwardsville campus. His throw of 228 feet, 1 inch won the event by 23 inches was good enough to make the USA Team for the IAAF World Youth Championships. The team consisted of 20 men and 21 women ages 16-17. He finished 12th in the world.
In the 2013 NCHSAA Class 1A/2A/3A indoor state meet in February 2013 at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, Minor won the shot put championship.
In the 2012 NCHSAA Class 1A/2A/3A indoor state track and field meet at the Eddie Smith Fieldhouse at UNC Chapel Hill, Minor was second in the shot put.
In the 2012 NCHSAA Class 3A state field meet at N.C. A&T University, Minor finished second in the shot put.
One of the coaches at Dartmouth has a North Carolina connection. East Carolina University graduate Michelle Clayton is in her fifth season as a member of the Dartmouth track and field staff as an assistant coach and her primary focus is on throws. She came to the Big Green from Duke University, where she spent two seasons coaching the men’s and women’s throwers. At Duke, Clayton’s throwers set multiple records. Four athletes qualified for the NCAA regionals in 2009. In 2008, Clayton coached John Austin to the IC4A title and All-America honors in the javelin.
“I’ve known the coach for a long time,” Minor said. “She’s a great coach.
“We went to a camp at Myrtle Beach on the hammer throw, which was where I first learned how to do it. She happened to be there with a couple of her athletes. So I got to meet her through that. Just got to know her over time, seeing her at meets.
“Dartmouth does several meets at Myrtle Beach, so I’ll be able to make trips down here, see my parents and compete against my brother.”
His brother, Ryan, won the 2011 NCHSAA Class 3A state championship in the shot put and was second in the discus throw. He now competes for Coastal Carolina University.
Dartmouth does not give athletics or academics scholarships, Colin Minor said.
“They do need-based financial aid,” he said. “They judge how much money they’ll give you. Tuition is $64,000 a year. It’s not set in stone, but we should get about $46,000, $47,000 a year.
“I’m thinking of an engineering degree, whether that be chemical engineering or petroleum engineering, something along those lines.”
Colin Minor will continue to compete in the shot put and the discus throw along with the hammer throw, “which is my signature event, my favorite of the three.”
At the signing were parents Rhonda and Andre Minor.
“I remember when Colin was in the sixth grade,” Andre Minor said, “trying to teach Colin how to (put) the shot, and he struggling with it. I was wondering whether he was even going to like the sport.”
His son continued to practice and steadily progressed.
“Probably the most proud I was,” Andre Minor said, “was being up at 4 o’clock in morning this summer, watching a video streaming from the Ukraine and getting a glimpse of Colin wearing a USA uniform, climbing into the ring with his hammer, representing the United States of America.”
South track and field coach Julie Ward said Colin has always been tenacious about practicing.
“One of the blessings about Colin is that he doesn’t complain,” she said.
The night before he signed his letter of intent, Ward said, Colin Minor and his brother practiced shot puts in sub-freezing temperatures.
Ward said Colin practices his hammer throws every day at home, “then he spends another three hours at practice — every day. That’s why Colin is where he is today.”