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Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame
Chautauqua County has produced many fine track and field athletes. Some excelled in jumping events, others in distance races, some in sprints, but the longest thrower in county history will be a 2023 inductee of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
Sheldon Battle set the marks for the longest throws by a Chautauqua County high school athlete with a 59’-9.5” effort in the shot put and a 192’-10” hurl in the discus. He established these marks in 2001 and they have withstood the test of time for more than 20 years.
Battle was born in Jamestown in 1983. He was a two-sport letter winner at Jamestown High School in football and track and field.
Sheldon was a First Team All-New York State selection for Coach Wally Huckno’s 2000 Class AA New York State Champions Red Raiders. A First Team All-Western New York defensive end, he was named as Section VI’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2000.
Battle was also a “beast” for the Red and Green track team. He won three New York State individual championships, two in the discus and one in the shot put. His 192’-10” throw in the discus and 59’-9.5” toss in the 12-pound shot are not only JHS records, but Chautauqua County records as well.
He also participated with the Chautauqua Striders track and field team in both throwing events. He was a multiple time All-American from the age of 10 to 18. In 2001, Battle was the national runner-up in both strength disciplines.
The Jamestown Post-Journal named him its 2000 Boys Athlete of the Year.
Although Sheldon received many recruiting opportunities to play college football, he chose track and field as a pathway to a college degree. His first stop was the University at Buffalo, but then he transferred to Mesa Community College in Arizona. That proved to be a wise decision as he won the 2004 National Junior College championships in both shot and discus and earned the NJCAA Most Valuable Field Award.
The University of Kansas came calling and Battle was on his way to Lawrence, Kan. As a Jayhawk, he was a six-time All-American, with 4 indoor and 2 outdoor titles. He was a three-time Big 12 Conference shot put champion and still holds the KU outdoor record of 68’-10”. Battle earned his sociology degree in 2004.
In 2005, Sheldon was ranked No. 4 in the United States and No. 10 in the world in the shot. He was an alternate on the USA World Track and Field team and competed at the 2006 Olympic Trials.
Battle was a professional track and field athlete from 2007-2010.
He has been a volunteer throwing coach at the University of Kentucky, University at Buffalo, University of Alabama, Jamestown High School and Chautauqua Striders.
Battle is employed at SKF Group and resides in Jamestown.