Should Hollywood make a movie about her life someday, Milton-Union High School junior Beyonce Bobbitt wants Tajari P. Henson to portray her.
“She’s fierce,” Bobbitt said of the actress known for her role as Cookie Lyon on the TV series Empire. “She’s my go-to girl.”
Henson, though, might have to toughen up to portray how Bobbitt spends her weekends. The Bulldogs track standout enters this week’s Division II high school track and field state championships as a podium contender in both the shot and discus. She won the D-II regional discus championship last Saturday and finished second in the shot on Thursday at Piqua.
Earlier this season Bobbitt unleashed a discus throw of 145 feet, 5 inches for her personal best. She’ll need a similar effort to win state. She competes for the D-II discus title Friday morning and the shot title Saturday morning.
Bobbitt’s school-record discus throw was as big as her engaging personality and infectious smile. She’s a movie buff – among her favorites are The Breakfast Club and We Are Marshall – and wants to major in media arts and be a cinematographer. It’s a fitting profession. Bobbitt’s upbringing has helped her see life’s bigger picture.
While Henson is her favorite movie and TV star, there’s no question who is Bobbitt’s favorite rock star. That’s Amy Bobbitt, who adopted Beyonce and her two brothers when Beyonce was 4.
“She’s my rock. She’s the person I do this for,” Bobbitt said. “I do this to show people no matter what you want to do, do it. Put the work in and you will reap the rewards.”
Bobbitt and brothers Isaac and Johnny, a freshman and sophomore, respectively, at Milton-Union, were put into Foster care when Bobbitt was 3. She said they were lucky. A year later all three were adopted by Amy Bobbitt.
“That’s really, really rare because they usually split up foster kids of three or more,” said Bobbitt, who was born in Dayton.
There are nine adopted children living in the home now, with another adoption expected to happen in June. In all, Bobbitt has 11 brothers and sisters.
“Just ecstatic. We were all really happy we were getting adopted. It was pretty awesome,” Bobbitt said. “I’m very happy and satisfied with my life. I want to prove not every person who goes into the Foster care system is a complete sob story. I know my story is not a bad story at all. I went in and I got out really quick. I’m one of the very lucky few.”
Along with her new-found family support, sports became a permanent fixture in her life. She started with gymnastics but moved on to T-ball after what she called an embarrassing fall off the balance beam. Baseball, softball and soccer followed. She picked up track in the seventh grade.
Sports has always been a release for her. It’s provided the easy-going Bobbitt with booming confidence that helps entertain meet spectators with those impressive throws, especially in discus. Her strength, she said, is the result of her early childhood.
“I’m confident because I don’t want to seem weak,” Bobbitt said. “I felt extremely weak as a kid.
“I feel like I’ve always had to prove myself to people. I feel like either consciously or subconsciously people are always looking down on me in some ways because I’m a girl, or I’m adopted or I’m African-American. … I do this because I love to do it. All my sports I do because I want to prove myself. … What disc has taught me is nothing is given to you. You work for everything you get. Depending on how hard you work is how much you are going to get out of this.”
If her hard work plays out this week, then Bobbitt should be standing on the podium at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium accepting a state medal. She spends summer days at Milton’s Lowry Field complex hurling the two-pound discus and tossing the 8-pound, 13-ounce shot. She hits the weight room in the winter around her basketball schedule. Shadow work to perfect her technique is a year-round exercise.
Bobbitt qualified for the state meet in both events last season. She finished 11th in the discus with a disappointing throw of 118-7 and ninth in the shot with a best of 38-10. As a freshman she finished 13th in the discus at 112-4. Both of her state discus results were well below her season-best distances.
“Going into to state this year I need to have a better mindset. I choked both years I went,” Bobbitt said of being on that big stage. “This year I’m bound and determined to do my best there. I’m hoping to make something happen in both.”
Bobbitt swept both the shot and discus at the Southwestern Buckeye League meet this season, setting a new league mark in the discus at 126-0 feet. Last season she set a district record with a throw of 136-11, topping the previous mark of 128-0 by Brookville’s Allie Conry in 2015.
She holds Milton-Union’s discus record with her 145-5 and is inches away from the shot put record. Her personal best is 39-5.5, just off the record of 40-2.5.
But no matter how Bobbitt fares at state, she’ll get that same feeling walking into her home in West Milton and being surrounded by her brothers, sisters and mom.
“I think I would have been a very, very different person if I hadn’t been put in the foster care system,” she said. “Sometimes I wonder who would I be if I wasn’t put in the system. It was a blessing in disguise because I wouldn’t have met my mom.”