Jul 9, 2017
NICEVILLE Ed Shelikoff has a bone to pick
with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
According to the Niceville discus and shot put thrower, long
before Embiid turned Trust the Process into a rallying
cry in the City of Brotherly Love and a way to glorify the 76ers
rebuilding phase, the Eagles track and field team had already
begun using the motto.
That was our thing way before Joel started tweeting about
it, Shelikoff said. The Sixers took it from us. They
saw our success and wanted some of it.
?(But) Im a Philadelphia sports fan. All my dads
family lives there. Thats where he grew up. We visit once
or twice a year and I love the city.
For Shelikoff, The Process culminated this year in a record-setting
season one that has earned him Daily News Male Track and
Field Athlete of the Year. Not to mention a track and field scholarship
to the University of Florida.
At the state meet in Bradenton on May 5, Shelikoff placed second
(200.08 feet) in the discus behind Sebastian Rivers Jarez
Parks (210.05 feet) and 14th (45.41 feet) in the shot put. In
all, he won eight of the nine meets he entered in the discus and
racked up three first-place, three second-place and one third-place
finish in the shot put.
Ed just dominated, in my mind, the state of Florida,
Niceville track and field co-head coach Jamie LaFollette said.
You just dont have 200-foot discus throwers. For a
lot of coaches, that just doesnt come around often.
Thats the equivalent of someone not only hitting
a home run, but hitting it out of the stadium.
Not often is an understatement. Shelikoff and Parks became just
the second and third throwers in state history to eclipse the
200 foot mark.
Said Niceville throwing coach Emily Webb, (Ed) had a goal
this year and it was to not get beat.
At the regional meet in Tallahassee on April 27, Shelikoff won
the discus with a 194 foot throw and placed second in the shot
put with a 51.08 foot toss.
But like the 76ers, Shelikoffs season was all about The
Over the summer, the 6-foot-2, 245-pounder and six teammates
travelled to Ohio to attend a camp run by John Powell, Webbs
former personal coach and a former discus world record holder
and Olympian. (Powell also came to Niceville in December.)
At that point, Shelikoff knew he was bound for a successful season.
So did Webb, but she played it cool and gave her understudy the
same goal she gives all her athletes every season: Set a personal
record at the first meet, whether its by an inch or a foot.
Said Webb, With Ed, he opened the season with a 13-foot
The 183.79 foot hurl at the Seahawks Open on Feb. 11 sent a message:
If you want to win the 3A state championship in discus, youre
going to have to go through Ed Shelikoff.
But the senior and his coach kept their underlying goal under
wraps: Throw as close to 200 feet as possible at every meet.
After a 171 at the Tiger Relays, there was another 183, this
time at the Chiles Championships, followed by a new personal record
of 188.45, set at the Seahawks Invitational on March 4.
Though the scores 177.42, 170.83, 185.33, 179 dipped
a tad during the middle of the season, Shelikoff was still head
and shoulders better than his competition.
His down is still above and beyond, Webb said.
At practice sessions Shelikoff threw 219 and 207 feet.
For me, when Im training him, its a process,
said Webb, using the P Word unprovoked. I didnt want
him to open the season at 200 feet because its very hard
to stay there.
I wanted him to chip away at it gradually.
While Shelikoffs scores in the discus dropped a bit during
the stretch, his scores in the shot put became more consistent.
In the seasons first three meets, Shelikoff threw the shot
48.46 feet, 50.07 feet and 52.30 feet (a regular-season high).
He then threw more consistent scores of 50.60, 50.36, 49.87, 51.64,
and 47.27 before posting a season-high 54.23 at the district meet,
a 51.51 at regionals and a season-low 45.41 at state.
On April 27 at the regional meet in Tallahassee, Shelikoff was
unsatisfied by his first few attempts in the discus, which sat
in the 170-feet range (which would have won the meet by about
?(So) I did a little sprint to get my blood pumping, he
The senior threw a staggering 190 feet on his first throw of
the final heat before throwing an even-better 193, yet another
That was something Id been trying to do all season,
so that was a special moment, he said. Thats
when I knew I was back on my game.
Then came the grand finale: the 200.08-feet toss at the state
An unforgettable moment, Webb said. I literally
just broke down into tears of joy.
So did Shelikoff.
I had a really good day, he said. Everything
was working for me. It was a really good way to finish off the
Its two months later and so much has changed.
For the 76ers, The Process has become Welcome the Moment
and a roster loaded with young talent. (Its looking
good for the Sixers, said Shelikoff.)
For Shelikoff, The Process became The Result a high school
track and field career for the ages.
Now, its off to Gainesville where a new Process is set