Patrick has a subluxed middle finger, I'm not sure if this is the right way to describe it but it means the knuckle on his hand pops out of joint and pops back in when he throws the shot put. It's very painful. This began during the early stages of the indoor season. At conference in MONTANA it was giving him a lot of pain. He basically stopped throwing shot after all this.
He threw once at the Jack Christensen Invite and qualified for conference championships, since it was his last. He almost didn't throw the shot there because he wanted to concentrate on discus and hammer. He threw to make sure he didn't get in trouble because of the fair effort rules at conference (which I will not get into detail about here because it would take much too much to explain)During warm-ups he "felt pretty good" and threw the first 53'9 which almost matched his outdoor personal record. Which each throw he experienced more and more pain and didn't know if he should keep going after it. After each throw of finals he looked over and gave me the I'm done, I'm shutting it down." signal. Each time he decided last minute to go for it, "because it just didn't feel right to be in the ring and not go for it." (Remember he still had hammer and discus to throw)
He set an All-time personal record by OVER A FOOT at 55' 3 3/4" on his sixth and final throw. This throw lost to second place by 1 cm and moved him to 51st in the NCAA west. It earned him All-Conference honors and a special kind of honor to know he brought his best on his last competition in the shot put, which few achieve.
Most likely he will not get to go to Austin for the NCAA first round, and I'm certainly disappointed, but I am honored to have been Patrick's coach for the last four years. What a great competitor and leader. UNC (and his coach) will definitely miss him!
College athletics come and go in the blink of an eye, yet the work ethic, competitive spirit, and dedication to goals that stays with us for a lifetime. It's not about a medal that hangs on your wall, it's about what that medal represents. It's not the outcome that defines us, it's the process. BUT to be completely honest, glory is what comes when the outcome matches the process. Patrick did that this weekend.
To sum up his last month, he has bought a house, graduated college, got engaged, set multiple personal records in track and field and earned All-Conference. Most people would crumble under that much stress. Patrick THRIVED.