Harper Seymour had a habit of saving her best for last.
Winding her body quickly, then releasing the discus with precision and amazing strength, this North Hall High senior went out on top as a state champion on her last attempt.
There was plenty of time to worry on Seymour’s end within the state championship atmosphere.
First, she had to wait her turn to take to the throwing circle. Then, it was a matter of execution with everyone watching in Albany. Lastly, she had to wait it out to see if she’d done enough to carry home the championship.
Seymour showed with all the dynamics at play, she could get it done.
Seymour turned her final throw in the discus into a state championship distance of 127 feet on May 7 at Hugh Mills Stadium.
For her efforts, Seymour is The Times’ Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“It felt amazing to win the championship,” said Seymour, who will study at the University of Georgia in the fall.
In the Class AAAA division of the discus, Seymour struggled through her first five throws at state. Before going 127 on the final attempt, Seymour stood in seventh place at 120-10. She had three throws out of bounds, due to many factors, including nerves. That’s when the two-time state champion took a deep breath and reminded herself just to let her technique take control.
She didn’t want to accept settling for seventh place, after winning it all in Class AAA as a junior (119) for North Hall.
“I just had to remind myself that I’d done it before,” said Seymour, who passed on an opportunity to compete at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. She said being a lifelong Bulldog fan trumped an offer to compete at the next level.
There’s also something satisfying about knowing your final throw ever was a personal best and good for a state championship.
Seymour’s best throw at state was six inches better than the runner-up, Bryana Scott of Thomas County Central.
Also at state, Seymour took home sixth place in the shot put (38-5).
Her success built quickly over time with constant focus on her form. She took part in weekend clinics in Marietta with the Throw 1 Deep Club.
Seymour first took to the throws in middle school. It wasn’t an immediate fit, she said, since she wasn’t as tall as the other girls. With steady coaching, Seymour found she had a profound love for the discus.
Throughout her high school career, Seymour garnered seven region championships.