It is said every four years that the most difficult team to make is the Olympic Men's and Women's United States track & field teams. With only three Olympic spots available per event, more often than not there are more than three athletes that can realistically secure those spots. Specifically, the men's Shot-Put seems to have four or five throwers competing every Olympic year that have a chance to finish in the top 3, as well as be considered a favorite to bring home an Olympic medal. In that particular case, of course throwing far matters most on that specific day, the Olympic Trials.
Closer to home, and arguably the most important meet of the season for local high school athletes, the Section V Indoor track & field state qualifier meet was held this past Friday, February 23rd. The top 12-14 athletes in each field event compete for two automatic spots to represent Section V at the Indoor New York State championship meet. The third place finisher also qualifies as long as they have met the minimum standard. In total, four Forza Athletics throwers competed in the men's shot-put and weight throw, as well as the women's shot-put and weight throw.
I'm proud to say that three of the four Forza Athletics high school throwers secured spots to compete in the New York State Indoor track & field championships on March 3rd in New York City. Setting a new Section V record in the women's weight throw, Webster Thomas sophomore Monique Hardy finished first with a throw of 56'1". Lindsay Johnson, a senior at Rush-Henrietta, finished third with a personal best throw of 44'7". They will both competing in the women's weight throw. Both Monique and Lindsay will also be competing in the women's shot-put. Lindsay finished 2nd, while Monique finished 3rd. Earlier in the season Monique threw the minimum qualifier of 37'7".
Joining his Forza teammates in New York City next weekend, senior thrower from Spencerport High School Drew Palermo will be competing in the men's weight throw and shot-put competitions. Drew finished first in the men's weight throw will a final round throw of 68', while finishing second in the shot-put.
I cannot begin to express how proud I am to say that I have had the wonderful opportunity to coach these athletes this indoor season. We make most of the time we have together each week, maximizing our reps and really dialing in our focus on the smaller puzzle pieces that will assist them in reaching their throwing goals. Our coaching sessions go far beyond just throwing for the sake of throwing. Luis and I spend a great deal of time reviewing throwing videos, implementing plans for our throwers, and most importantly discussing our plans with our throwers. We value the input our throwers give us, especially when it comes to their needs, how they are feeling, and what they think they need to focus on in order to throw farther. Best wishes go out to our throwers and all the throwers competing at the New York State Indoor track & field championships this weekend.
Charles Infurna, Ed.D., is the owner and lead coach of Forza Athletics Track Club. Dr. Infurna has coached National Record Holders, National Champions, All-Americans, and Conference Champions at the Post-Collegiate, Collegiate, and High School level.