70'-11" effort remains all-time state best

The Record

Each year athletes set out with high expectations, some to reach the state meet, some to break school records, and for a few to etch their name into state history as an Iowa High School ALL TIME BEST Performer. However one entry in the record book remains the longest in history and perhaps one of the most unbreakable. That is Doug Lane’s 70-foot, 11-inch shot put effort in 1968 — an all-time Iowa best. No one in Iowa has challenged the 70-foot mark in the ensuing 48 years. Chase Madison of Newton went 66-0 in 2004. Former Iowa football all-America tackle Brandon Scherff went 65-0 for Denison-Schleswig in 2010. Marion’s Drew Clark posted 64-7 3/4 in 2009, still a Class 3A record.

Lane appeared to have broken the 70-foot barrier in 1967 at the Dickinson Relays in Cedar Falls, but fouled. A year later, he did it officially multiple times. At the Tri-State Relays in Dubuque on May 17, 1968, Lane set the national prep shot put record with his 70-11 effort. All four his throws that day sailed past the 70-foot mark. Lane’s 70-11 mark stood in the top 10 nationally for several years, but since has slid down the all-time charts.


Doug was introduced to the shot put at Wilson Junior High by Ron Schirm, later a Jefferson teacher and coach. On his first throw, he was six inches under the city record. Lane set national sophomore and junior records in 1966 and ’67, respectively. His 67-1 throw as a junior ranked him No. 1 in the United States and landed him on the cover of Athletic Journal magazine. In a story authored by then-Jefferson coach John Ask and assistant Jim Fischer, Lane’s 15-step, three-day-a-week winter workout routine was detailed. The piece also included a sequence of 10 photographs, detailing Lane’s technique with descriptions from his coaches. In 1966, the J-Hawks had four athletes who went over the 60-foot mark — Lane, Jon Meskimen, Layne McDowell and Ted Knutson. In an eight-year span, Jefferson had six state shot put champions — Tom Knutson in 1963, Meskimen in 1965, Lane in 1966-67-68 and Bob Herman in 1970. Another Knutson, John, won Drake Relays and state discus crowns in that era. Lane, also a solid football player, was driven by competition.

After Jefferson

Lane first attended Kansas State University out of high school, then transferred to Southern California. He won the NCAA indoor shot put title in 1972 with a school-record 66-11 1/4 toss (the college shot put is 16 pounds). That USC record stood for 35 years. Lane was poised to make the United States Olympic team in 1972. He went to the Trials in Eugene, Ore., confident he could approach 70 feet. But he broke the index finger on his throwing hand on his last warm-up and slumped to 12th in the finals.
Lane has founded several companies and carved out a brilliant business career in southern California, long after he ruled the ring in the shot put for Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Lane has returned to Cedar Rapids many times to visit family and Jefferson. He has been a great resource for the Jefferson Track program and a proud member of the Jefferson Family.

Research and article performed by longtime sports writer and historian Mark Dukes. Originally printed in Gazette.