The last time we checked in with Birney he was throwing steam in shorts and a t-shirt, registering 110 on the radar gun. That was about 60 days ago. Since then, Birney has added some combustion to his power plant and achieved the almost unthinkable: Testing the limits of physics and ripping a shot at 114 miles per hour. (That's 183.465 kilometers per hour for our Canadian friends reading this piece on their Internet moose.)
114 might be just a number to you, but to Titan junior Mike Birney of the University of Detroit Mercy men's lacrosse team and the lacrosse community, it represents something fast. Something quick. Something hard. And that 114 happens to be Birney's shot that he has showcased in summer workouts, a number that if accomplished in a Major League Lacrosse All-Star competition would tie him for the world record.
"When I just started looking at it, I was at about 102 and just kept working on it and had a friend film it and I got to 110, 111, 113 and now 114," said Birney. "I have worked a lot this summer on my game, but it is fun to just go out there and shoot it as hard as I can."
The record was at 111 by the face of today's lacrosse game, Paul Rabi, and recently soared to 114 this summer as Mike Sawyer of the Charlotte Hound broke the record at the MLL All-Star game. While both of those are done in front of crowds under set rules and pressure, it should not be ignored that Birney is still lighting up the radar gun.
Shine on, you crazy diamond.