CLOVIS - So many times over the last three seasons, Daniel Viveros has walked into the shot put ring, placed the shot put on the cement and began clapping rhythmically to get the crowd engaged.
Most of the time, Viveros delivered with a superb mark.
On Saturday in the boys shot put finals at the 101st CIF State Track and Field Championships at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis, Viveros did not need to entice the crowd on his final throw of his high school career.
The crowd began to clap in unison as the Liberty senior solidified his place amongst the greatest in the shot put in California history with a final mark of 68 feet, 10.5 inches.
Viveros won his second consecutive state championship in the event, becoming the 13th in state history and the fifth in a long line of great Kern County throwers.
The last to accomplish the feat was Matt Darr of Frontier in 2009-10.
“This means a lot. I am really happy about it,” Viveros said. “It’s a great moment.”
Since Viveros took third at state as a sophomore in 2016, the Ole Miss-bound thrower finishes his high school career winning 32 consecutive shot put competitions and joins Darr, Van Mounts (Bakersfield High, 1997-98) and Leon Patterson (Taft, 1951-52) to repeat as the shot put state champion from Kern County.
“That’s huge. It’s a really big confidence builder and to hear those names, you always want to be up there with them,” Viveros said. “Being up there with them is huge for me.”
Viveros is the national leader this season in the shot put when he hit 71-3 at the South Area championships at BHS on May 8. Right after he cleared the mark and became just the third in state history to clear 70 feet in a high school meet, Liberty coach Rod Chronister handed Viveros the phone.
On the other end was Mounts, who’s mark of 71-10 still stands as the top shot put mark in Central Section history despite being in national competition while not affiliated with BHS.
Mounts congratulated Viveros and told him to go make history.
Now Viveros is in the same conversation as one of the best ever in state history.
And on his final throw in high school on the biggest stage, Viveros felt the moment and took advantage of it.
“All of the other throwers to ‘hit 70, hit 70,’ ” Viveros said. “They were all really happy for me and it was huge to have the crowd there for me. To be able to set the shot down and hear them (clap) for me, that energy goes through you and made me so happy.”
Viveros also finished fifth in the boys discus earlier in day, finishing with a mark of 176-9 and finishes his high school career with one discus medal, a shot put medal and two shot put state championships.
“I can’t put into words what this means,” Viveros said. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Shafter senior Thomas Richardson finished seventh in the boys shot put, just one spot and one foot away from the medal podium. The Cal State Bakersfield-bound senior’s top mark was 58-3.5.
Chenworth medals third
Boron junior Kelton Chenworth had lofty expectations coming into the state meet. But even though he didn’t accomplish his feat of wanting to clear 6-11 in the boys high jump finals, he’s perfectly fine with the end result.
Chenworth, a first-time state qualifier, cleared 6-9 on his first attempt and finished third for a rare state medal for the Bobcats.
“I am pretty darn excited, honestly,” Chenworth said. “My goal today was to get 6-11, but still got 6-9 and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Chenworth’s personal-best this season was 6-10.