Chris La Mar: Third of a throwing dynasty

Two years ago, Ames High’s Nic Toben won the shot put event at the State Track & Field Meet. One year ago, Ames’ Dom Howard placed first in the discus event at the state meet. Both championship performances were completed in record-setting fashion with Toben and Howard breaking school records in their respective events. Toben now throws at the University of Northern Iowa and Howard at the University of Minnesota. AHS Boys’ track and field has a chance to continue its 4A throwing state championship reign with junior Chris La Mar. La Mar is currently ranked first in the 4A shot put. “[Toben and Howard] were mentors for me.They were very helpful to me, you know, to motivate me to keep going. I studied [Dom] a lot. Nic and I have a good relationship still standing,” La Mar said. La Mar was a freshman and placed eighth in the shot put when Toben won the event. La Mar recalls his own performance as one of his favorite memories, having moved up four spots in the rankings and scoring one point for the team. He also helped celebrate Toben’s state championship by giving his teammate a hug after the event was completed. Last season, however, La Mar had a lower ankle sprain and didn’t compete at the Drake Relays. “It took a lot out of me and the rest of the year went downhill from that,” he said. He was able to compete at the state meet and finished eleventh in the shot put, but he was the highest placing underclassman. La Mar wants to move on from his injury. “I think just the only motivator I want is to, you know, just win. I’m very competitive, and the competition has really heated up this year, and I really want to do well against the other throwers,” he said. La Mar has high hopes for this season. “I want to place at Drake [Relays], I want to win state. It’s the goal to get my shot put up to 60 feet, and in discus, I’m hoping to place in the top four at state.” He has worked to improve his mental outlook and technique. “I take it day by day and meet by meet,” he said. “I try to clear all of my thoughts before I throw. When I walk into the ring, I don’t think about anything, and I, you know, rely solely on muscle memory.” Additionally, La Mar attended three collegiate camps in the past year, which have help him a lot. “I’ve been trying to get into the most powerful position I can and doing everything right,” he said. La Mar believes that he can make an Ames High State Championship throwing “three-peat”. “It is the goal, and I think I’m very capable of it,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work, just getting into the right positions, you know, day in and day out.” To follow Drake Relays results, go to and click on the Drake Relays page.