By Keith McShea
This has been called the "Year of the Throwers" in Western New York track and field.
And Jess Dhaliwall of Grand Island is a major reason why.
Dhaliwall won the state championship in the discus last weekend, capping off an outstanding senior season and career that also includes her being named the Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls track and field.
At the Section VI championships, Dhaliwall won the discus as well as the shot put, continuing a top-of-the-state rivalry with Lancaster's McKenzie Kuehlewind, the Prep Talk Player of the Year for girls indoor track.
Keuhlewind finished first in the shot put at the state outdoor meet, with Dhaliwall second. Dhaliwall won the Section VI indoor title in the shot put before also finishing second to Kuehlewind at the state indoor meet.
As juniors, Dhaliwall won the Section VI outdoor title in the discus over Kuehlewind; Kuehlewind won the shot put over Dhaliwall.
Dhaliwall is one of several local throwers (along with Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys indoor track, Devon Patterson of Williamsville South) headed to the University at Buffalo next year.
Her planned roomate at UB? Kuehlewind.
She talked about her award, season and future plans in a recent visit to PrepTalkTV.
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All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball.
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Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year every day -- until the big night.
The list thus far: