Track and Field: Lyons' Gemma Powell eyeing third straight gold in discus

Mar. 22—St. Vrain Valley has a habit of producing strong female throwers. It must be something in the water.

Three years ago, during the 2020 (2021) Summer Olympics, Silver Creek grad Valarie Allman became a household name in the district — if she wasn't already long before that — when she dominated the discus event to go for gold.

Lyons senior Gemma Powell is becoming a discus star within the confines of Colorado in her own right. Last season, Powell won her second consecutive Class 2A state title in the discus with a throw of 131 feet, 4 inches. She beat her own gold-worthy mark from the year before by nearly 12 feet.

"I think for me, it's been technique," Powell said. "I think that's something that I've really focused on, understanding all the different parts of the spin. I think that's what's helped me the most. It's just understanding where I need to get my power from during my spin and understanding each little piece of the spin, and how that can help me get farther distances."

The field event is far from where her talent ends.

Just last month, Powell put on a valiant effort during the 3A Mile High/Foothills district basketball tournament, scoring 45 points and taking down 25 rebounds during the Lions' three-game sprint toward their surprise district title. Her 168 kills and 54 blocks during volleyball season weren't half bad, either.

"She is 100% dedicated, to a tee. She is an incredible athlete," Lyons track head coach David Goodman said. "She is definitely that leader there to kind of help them on their technique, their footwork, their release, everything that they need to do. She is, apart from an athlete, almost a second coach there in the throwing ring to really help bring up those younger athletes. When you have somebody that's a two-time state champ, (advice) coming from their mouth sometimes can be a little more meaningful than (from) a coach."

Track season may just be getting underway, but Powell already has her eyes on the prize, and has the comfort of two straight championships propelling her forward. By season's end, she hopes to propel that disc to new lengths.

She'll certainly have a target on her back every time she steps into the pit this spring.

"This year, I've kind of decided that it's taking the pressure off," Powell said. "I feel like the last two years, I've been really nervous and felt a lot of pressure going into state and just the season in general. I feel like this year, it's giving me more confidence."