A.J. McFarland will go for a state championship in the discus this season.
BY ANDREW O'BRIEN | SPORTS EDITOR
DAYTONA BEACH — Since he was a young kid, A.J. McFarland always wanted to throw baseballs for the University of Florida.
Instead, he’ll be throwing a discus and a shot put for the Gators.
McFarland, a senior at Father Lopez High School, signed his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 7 to compete in track-and-field at the University of Florida, in Gainesville.
McFarland is a three-year letter winner for the Green Wave. He was the 2013 District 6-1A champion in the discus. In August 2013, McFarland finished eighth at the Amateur Athletic Union’s Junior Olympics, in Michigan, where he threw a career best 155 feet, 5 inches. McFarland’s shot put best is 43 feet, 3 inches.
This spring, McFarland hopes to eclipse the 180-feet mark in the discus, which would put him in contention for a Class 1A state title, Father Lopez track-and-field coach Suzanne O’Malley said.
“A.J. never gives up and is very dedicated,” O’Malley said. “He is a true champion on and off the field. He has a wonderful network of people who have helped mold him to the person he is today and will become.”