Tyler Laughlin -- Field Athlete of the Year

(Shenandoah) -- Tyler Laughlin re-wrote the Shenandoah record books with countless insane throws throughout his prep career, particularly in his senior season.

For that, Laughlin is the 2023 KMAland Field Athlete of the Year.

The South Dakota signee ended the prep portion of his career with a pair of state medals, taking third in the discus and sixth in the shot put.

"I couldn't have asked for a better ending," Laughlin said. "It encapsulated all the work I put in throughout the season. I was satisfied."

Laughlin entered the final state meet of his career cool, calm and collected. That showed in his performances.

"I showed up calm," he said. "I tried to carry the mentality of being here before. It was just a regular meet to me."

Laughlin had every right to be calm after an impressive showing at districts, where he shattered the school record in the shot put.

"I expected to throw over 50 (feet)," he said. "I was satisfied with how I threw. In discus, I had a good first throw. On my last two throws, I was eighth, so I was stressed. My last throw, I took a second to think about everything and had a great throw that brought me from eighth to third."

Laughlin's senior-season success in the discus is no surprise. He qualified for state in that event as a sophomore and junior and medaled as a junior. His showing in the shot put, though, was a sign of the progress he made throughout his career. He credits those improvements to the work he put in with Olympian Payton Otterdahl.

"I've worked with him several times a week in Lincoln," Laughlin said. "Everything he gave me translated to so much improvement."

Laughlin continually got better throughout his senior year. That led to him being Shenandoah's school record holder in both the shot put and discus.

"Every time I get a PR, it feels great," he said. "It makes me feel like my work has paid off. I immediately look to the next meet and what will make me throw even farther."

Laughlin joins Clarinda's Isaac Jones as a recipient of this award. 

Hear the full interview with Laughlin below. 

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