By ADAM SHINDER
For the Express
BROADALBIN — Friday morning, surrounded by family, friends and coaches, Broadalbin-Perth High School senior Jeff Derwin joined an exclusive club of B-P athletes to make the jump to Division I collegiate competition when he signed his National Letter of Intent to compete for the Binghamton University track and field team.
Though he’s still got his sights set on state championships in the discus throw and shot put next month — he currently leads all New York high schoolers in the shot put and is second in the discus — making his college decision was a major milestone.
“It’s pretty cool, I’m not gonna lie,” Derwin said. “A little while ago, I didn’t know if I was even gonna go to college, so now to sign with a Division I school is pretty cool.”
Over the last three seasons, Derwin has stamped himself as one of the top throwers in the state. He’s reached the state meet in the shot put in each of the last two seasons, finishing sixth in Division 2 in 2015 and fourth in 2016. Last year, he also went to states in the discus throw and finished second in Division 2 after leading into the final throw of the competition. He also finished seventh in the Federation discus final. This past winter, Derwin qualified for the indoor state meet in the shot put and finished 10th.
This spring, Derwin’s taken his throwing to an even higher level. He passed the 60-foot milestone in the shot put for the first time and leads the state with a mark of 60 feet, 8.75 inches, and his season-best mark of 166 feet, 11 inches is good for second-best in the state — and he was atop the state leaderboard until being passed last week by Chris Fasano of Sachem North.
“I have a serious goal in mind this year, and that’s to win a state championship. I’ve never lost sight of that, and I still have work to do,” Derwin said.
B-P assistant track and field coach Tom McGivern, who works with the team’s throwers, has seen Derwin’s progress since he joined the team as an eighth-grader. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Derwin has made major strides each year, and McGivern said working with another recent addition to the B-P coaching staff, former Fonda-Fultonville and University at Albany standout thrower Jason Kruger, has helped take Derwin to an even higher level this season.
“Jason and I are extremely proud of Jeff and what he’s accomplished,” McGivern said.
“Jason’s an expert in rotational shot put, and he’s really helped Jeff with his shot put and where he is right now. I’ve been with Jeff since he was an eighth-grader, and the progression of what he’s accomplished from then until now is just phenomenal. We’re just so proud of him.”
Derwin said he was initially accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point on merit, but was eventually medically declined due to a history of knee injuries. He was also being recruited by the University at Buffalo, but his official visit to Binghamton and the school’s scholarship offer made his decision to become a Bearcat a no-brainer.
“I went there and I loved the place, loved everything about it,” he said. “I went there on a top-10 day, it was beautiful there. Just everybody from the coaches to the throwers I met with, right away they were friendly as could be. Then there was the money factor, and they offered me a pretty good scholarship, so everything just kind of worked out .”
With his college commitment out of the way, Derwin is fully focused on ascending to the top of the state podium next month at Union-Endicott High School — a 10-minute drive from the Binghamton University campus.
“I’ve been there the last two years, so my third time going back is not as nerve-wracking,” he said. “The mental side of it has definitely calmed down, and I think that’s one of the biggest parts of it is the mental approach.”