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Youth hammer records fall in 2018

Over the past few weeks we have covered some of the highlights of the 2018 high school hammer throw season. We have compiled our final rankings, looked at the growth in participation, and this year’s all-Americans. In this article we want to focus on some of the top performances of the year. Read more

Youth hammer records fall in 2017

Over the past few weeks we have covered some of the highlights of the 2017 high school hammer throw season. We have compiled our final rankings, looked at the statistical depth of results, and the geographic distribution of top throwers. In this final installment, we look at the new records and top all-time performances from the season. Read more

If Not Now, When?

If you see something that is wrong, you can do two things: act or wait. Acting is not easy; it may cost you your friends, your reputation, or your job. But in many cases it is what is needed. If you wait for someone else to change things then change will likely never come. The old saying goes “you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” That was definitely true in the case of Harold Connolly, the man who taught me that you can’t compromise or back down on matters of principle. Read more

The 2016 Indoor Season in Numbers

Bob Gourley’s final national performance lists for the 2016 indoor season were released a few weeks ago. As we did last year, it is helpful to take a statistical look at the sport as it continues to grow nationwide. Read more

Youth Hammer Continues Expansion Across USA

As we have written about over the past month, 2015 was a great year for high school hammer throwing. The final rankings rankings included 254 throwers, an increase of 6.3% from last year. Those athletes also hit new performance levels and some record setting performances. In addition, the geographic scope of the sport spread even further. Read more

High School Hammer Shows Continued Growth in 2015

The 2015 season has finished up with Adam Kelly (Barrington, RI) and Haley Showalter (Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, CO) finishing the season at the top. The year was once again a showcase of how much the sport has grown at the high school level. Overall the number of throwers qualifying for Bob Gourley’s national list increased to 254 throwers. This means that throughout the season 132 boys broke 150 feet and 122 girls threw over 120 feet. This represents a 6.3% increase compared to 2014. Read more

The Swiss Hammer Project

As I mentioned in the coaching roundtable earlier this week, I have a deep interest in learning how to develop an event since that is exactly what several coaches and I are trying to do with the hammer in Switzerland.
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Now Accepting Applications For 2015 Youth Hammer Throw Grants

It’s that time of the year again. The USATF Foundation Youth Hammer Throw Fund is now accepting applications for their 2015 grants, supported by the USATF Foundation. Since being started in 2005 by Olympic champion Harold Connolly, the USATF Foundation Youth Hammer Throw Grants Program has been dedicated to helping young hammer throwers across the country obtain the resources they need to succeed.
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USATF Foundation Awards 22 Youth Hammer Grants

The USA Track & Field Foundation, in coordination with the Harold Connolly Youth Hammer Throw Fund, awarded 22 youth hammer throwers with training grants for the 2014 season today.

A record 11 boys and 11 girls have been named among this year’s recipients. The atheltes represent a broad spectrum of the top high school hammer throwers in the country, coming from nine different states. This year’s grant winners included some of the top stars from the 2014 season including US junior champion and national high school leader Haley Showalter and New Balance Outdoor Nationals second and third place finishers Colin Minor and Adam Kelly. Showalter recently competed at the World Junior Championships representing Team USA for the first time. The other winners also boast impressive resumes, as do many of those who did not receive a grant as the number of applications reached an all-time high.

The USATF Foundation helps support the Youth Hammer Throw Grants.

The USATF Foundation helps support the Youth Hammer Throw Grants.

To be considered, athletes must go through a vigorous application process that started after the 2013 season. The application included biographical information, training history, competitive statistical data, a brief essay describing his/her hammer throwing goals and a letter of support from the applicant’s coach and parent. All applicants must be born after January 1, 1996. Due to administrative delays the winners were only announced this summer.

Grant funds may only be used for specific hammer throw training and competition purposes. These grants are made possible through the support of the USATF Foundation and individual donors. Former Olympic gold medalist Harold Connolly began issuing grants in 2005 and during the last nine seasons, more than $39,000 have been awarded to 43 boys and 43 girls. The USATF Foundation began supporting the project before the 2012 season, allowing the project to both continue and expand in the wake of Connolly’s untimely death in 2010. For more information, please visit www.HammerThrow.org.

Youth Boys
Name                Age  School City, State             Personal Best
Gabriel Arcaro      18   Burlington, MA                        209-08
Jacob Beene         18   Gilbert, AZ                           220-00
Brock Eager         18   Tahoma, Covington, WA                 231-00
James Eblen         17   Centrerville, OH                      192-11
Connor Fugere       17   Woonsocket, RI                        208-05
Adam Kelly          17   Barrington, RI                        223-05
Maxfield Lydum      18   Central, Independence, OR             207-00
Colin Minor         18   South Brunswick, Southport, NC        232-04
Sean Ryan           17   Babylon, NY                           218-08
Eric Sheng          17   Syosset, NY                           213-02
Charles Whitener    17   North Paulding, Dallas, GA            187-02
Youth Girls
Name                Age  School City, State             Personal Best
Alexandrea Amazan   16   New Rochelle, NY                      113-00
Sochima Bishop      16   New Rochelle, NY                      137-09
Monae Cooper        16   New Rochelle, NY                      159-07
Gabrielle Figueroa  18   Austintown Fitch, Youngstown, OH      180-01
Alva Hicks          17   Classical, Providence, RI             172-01
Jessica Jeffrey     17   New Rochelle, NY                      135-04
Cheyanne Nalle      18   Woonsocket, RI                        149-07
Riley Scocco        16   Shorewood Christian, Seattle, WA      138-02
Haley Showalter     17   Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, CO  193-04
Kelli Thomas        18   Luella, Locust Grove, GA              175-02
Andrea Vahoua       18   Pope, Marietta, GA                    165-01

Why Does Specialized Training Get a Bad Rap?

In a New York Times op-ed last week, author David Epstein presented a case against specialization in youth sports. He cited several studies showing that early specialization appears to have detrimental effects on athlete development. For example:

Data presented at the April meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine showed that varsity athletes at U.C.L.A. — many with full scholarships — specialized on average at age 15.4, whereas U.C.L.A. undergrads who played sports in high school, but did not make the intercollegiate level, specialized at 14.2.

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