Any athlete will tell you that injuries are a frustrating notion to deal with.
In the case of Jacob McCluskey, the mettle in which he's bounced back from a shoulder injury is one of growth and inspiration.
McCluskey, a Brewer High School junior, has recovered nicely from an injury that cost him half of indoor track and the first two meets of the spring and boasts the top throws in the PVC in the discus (174 feet, 9 inches) and javelin (156-4) heading into Friday's large school championship meet at Brewer.
McCluskey, who had surgery in January, said at Saturday's River City Rivals meet at Bangor that among many things, he's had to slowly relearn techniques in each of his events as to not put himself on the sidelines again.
"Learning how to throw without re-injuring myself," McCluskey said when asked what his biggest challenge has been.
If the Witches are going to add another championship trophy to its crowded trophy case of track and field hardware, McCluskey and his fellow throwers are going to be vital.
One of them is Garrett Graham, the PVC's leading man in the shot put at 54-9.25. McCluskey is the league's No. 3 guy in the shot at 49-6.75.
"I'm just hoping to get PR's and help my team as best I can," McCluskey said. McCluskey did that in a big way Saturday, with his personal-bests in the discus and javelin coming in the four-team meet featuring Brewer, Bangor, Edward Little and Lewiston, proving he's morphing into championship form.
His throw of 174-9 in the discus was a thing of beauty, as McCluskey did an outstanding job transferring power from his lower body to upper body and using the bit of wind that was at his back to get the discus into the jetstream.
"It feels great to just pop one like that," said McCluskey. "This is a comeback year for me and I'm trying to get back into it."
McCluskey also enjoys being a part of the storied tradition that is Brewer track, and is hoping to help add more track championship banners to Brewer's gym.
The Witches were Class B state runners-up last winter, and will be among the top contenders at states in a couple weeks.
"I'm just trying to help my team out," McCluskey said. "It's pretty cool how you're up there with all the history of Brewer."
And with every throw he uncorks, McCluskey continues to etch himself into what has been a great tradition of talented throwers the Witches have had over the last several years.