CEDAR FALLS | Former Mason City standout Matt Schiffer has made many memories at Drake Stadium as a track and field athlete.
Schiffer, a senior thrower for the UNI men’s track and field team, added one more to the memory bank on Saturday at the Jim Duncan Invitational.
Schiffer unleashed a personal best and a meet-record throw of 57.26 meters (187 feet, 10 inches) in the discus throw, giving him the third-best throw in UNI men’s track and field history.
When it left his hand, Schiffer knew it had potential.
“It’s pretty easy to tell, just like hitting driver on the golf course,” Schiffer said.
The throw was 4.47 meters better than his previous best of 52.79, which he threw earlier in the season at the Emporia State Open.
He added a third-place finish in the hammer throw Saturday with a toss of 55 meters (180 feet, 5 inches), which also was a new personal record.
Following the meet, the support Schiffer received was memorable.
“I think my dad was more excited than I was this weekend,” Schiffer said.
He added that he almost had to turn his phone off this weekend due to the amount of congratulatory messages.
“The support has been unbelievable,” Schiffer said. “Everyone is pulling for me and that’s nice to know.”
Schiffer has come a long way since his days as a Mohawk.
He placed third in Class 4A at the state track and field meet at Drake Stadium in 2009 as a senior with a toss of 161-08 and took sixth place at the Drake Relays that season.
After redshirting during his first year at UNI, Schiffer’s yearly bests in the event hovered around 50 meters during his freshman (49.44), sophomore (49.08) and junior (50.80) seasons.
It was this year when he made a huge jump.
“I’ve done what my coaches have told me to do and trusted it to work,” Schiffer said.
So far this season, he has throws of 51.13 meters, 52.79, 52.54 and then the 57.26-meter toss on Saturday.
Schiffer said his goals for this season have shifted after his great performance.
Coming into the season, he was eyeing a conference title in the event and with his most recent throw, nationals are the target. He is currently 12th in UNI’s region and the top 12 from each region qualify for the NCAA Division I nationals.
“This year has just been unbelievable so far,” Schiffer said. “I couldn’t even write it any better if I tried.”