COLUMBUS, Ind. — There's an athlete at Columbus North High School who is breaking records and turning heads.
Tucker Smith stands out in a crowd. He's 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds.
He's pretty quiet for a big guy, but has a dry sense of humor. He was wearing a pink button-down shirt he had bought at Goodwill before practice because he knew our cameras were coming. But when Smith steps into the ring, the gentle giant comes to life.
"Usually, before I get in ring, I visualize the throw and get as angry as possible and violence emerges," said Smith.
Growing up, Smith was always a little bit larger than his classmates.
"About five inches taller than most kids, seven, eight inches wider, so quite a bit," he said.
His older brother was a hurdler, so Smith tried track first.
"I would run hurdles on the side of him on the track in grass, then I switched to the track one day and hit the track and didn't do it anymore," said Smith.
Someone then told Smith's dad to put a shot put in his hand and the rest is history. Smith has been throwing ever since.
"I just took to it fairly well, you know, didn't have to run. That was a large one. When I was 10, I got third in nationals, so that was the first time I thought I was actually decent at it."
Decent is an understatement. Smith is now one of the best shot putters in the country. He has committed to the University of Oklahoma.
Smith already broke the Indiana all-time state records in shot put for both outdoor and indoor. His next goal was to become the first Hoosier to throw 70 feet.
"I have 73 written in my room and it's above my wall, so I see that often," Smith said.
Last weekend, Smith did what hasn't been done before: Throwing 72-and-a-half feet in their Indiana Conference meet.
"It's validation," he said.
With every throw, Smith just keeps getting better, continuing to eye that "73" as his high school career comes to a close.
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