At the end of a very successful 2017, Vinton-Shellsburg senior Cole Overton is looking forward to continuing his athletic career in 2018, first in his final year of high school and then at the next level.

Overton, who set a school record of 54 feet, four inches in the shot put during the 2017 track season, and later qualified for the State Track Meet by winning the District qualifying event, has signed with Hawkeye Community College. He plans to be part of the Red Tails throwing team, participating in shot put and discus.

“I have had a couple visits there,” says Cole, the son of Stuart and Pam Overton. “The coaching staff was very welcoming. They have lots of experience, performing in college.”

At Hawkeye, Cole will be working most closely with assistant coach Justin Baker, a UNI alum who was also an All-American in the shot put. Baker continues training, hoping to earn a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team.

“He knows what he’s talking about,” says Cole of the throwing coach. “Hopefully he can teach me some of his great techniques.

Baker visited VSHS to join Cole and his family for the signing ceremony last week.

“He reminds me of myself,” says the coach of Cole. “He’s a great all-around athlete.”

Cole hopes to do well enough with his discus and shot put distances during his two years at Hawkeye to earn a place on the team of a four-year college.

“I hope to get some good distances so I can get some bigger colleges to look at me for shot and discus,” he explains.

Scholastically, Cole says the Kirkwood option is also the best for him.

“They offer a liberal arts program I really like, and not knowing what I want to do yet, it is good place to start.”

While he’s looking forward to what he can accomplish at Hawkeye, Cole still has one more track season left in his high school career, and has set some big goals.

“My goal to place in the Drake Relays and also in the State Track Meet in shot and disc and hopefully set a new school record in the discus,” says Cole. His best throw so far is about five feet off the current VS record.

In addition to track, Cole has also been a leader on the VS football team. He led the team in tackles, was second in the district in tackles, and was one of four Vikings, along with Tanner Cummings, Blake Bohnsack and Isaac Wiley, to earn first team All-District honors this season.