At the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) central committee meeting on Thursday a variety of important topics and proposals were discussed. However, for hammer throwers action item 16 was the most relevant:
Action 16: Consider approval to add of weight throw to the indoor Track & Field Championships: APPROVED #NYSPHSAA
— NYSPHSAA (@NYSPHSAA) July 30, 2014
That’s right, New York has voted to officially add the weight throw as an event at the state indoor track championships thanks to a proposal from coach Oscar Jensen. The state now becomes the fourth state, along with Rhode Island, Ohio, and Vermont, to include the weight throw as an official event.
The weight throw has already been growing fast in New York even though it was not contested at the State Championships in prior years. Current high school hammer record holder Rudy Winkler was a prep at Averill Park High School and former record holder and Track and Field News Athlete of the Year Walter Henning attended St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island. Every year dozens of New York athletes are listed in the national rankings. However inclusion in the state meet will likely help it grow even more, just as Ohio has witnessed a weight throwing boom since the event was added to the state meet several years ago.
The hammer throw, on the other hand, has had more difficulty finding acceptance among state high school sports federations. Rhode Island remains the sole state to include the event in the state championships. Connecticut also holds it as an official event at a separate state championship meet. But throwers are emerging around the country anyway and many unofficial state championships have emerged starting with Washington and now also taking place in states likes California, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland.