USATF Foundation Announces 2015 Youth Hammer Grant Winners

The USA Track & Field Foundation, in coordination with the Harold Connolly Youth Hammer Throw Fund, awarded 13 youth hammer throwers with training grants for the 2015 season today.

A total of 6 boys and 7 girls have been named among this year’s recipients. The athletes come from eight states across the coutnry, representing both traditional strongholds, like Rhode Island, as well as well as new pockets of youth hammer throwers, like Texas and Colorado. The recipients range from age 13 to 18 and are led by World Junior Championship competitor Haley Showalter (Valor Christian, Highlands Ranch, CO) and current national weight throw leader Adam Kelly (Barrington, RI). The other winners also boast impressive resumes, as do many of those who did not receive a grant.

To be considered, athletes must go through a lengthy application process including 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, 1997 and grant funds may only be used for specific hammer throw training and competition purposes.

usatffFormer Olympic gold medalist Harold Connolly started the grant program in 2005 and over the last ten years more than $46,500 have been awarded to 99 athletes. 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.

Related content: Read more about the history of the grant program and success of grant winners.

The USATF Foundation was set up to provide a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track & field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track & field. You can donate the Harold Connolly Youth Hammer Throw fund here.

2015 Grant Winners

Athlete Age Hometown Personal Best
Youth Boys
Michael Alvernaz 17 Barrington, RI 188’05”
Jared Briere 15 Woonsocket, RI 179’05”
Joshua Hernandez 17 El Paso, TX 184’09”
Lane Hluch 18 Rootstown, OH 195’10”
Adam Kelly 17 Barrington, RI 223’05”
Owen Russell 17 Attleboro, MA 216’10”
Youth Girls
Monae Cooper 16 New Rochelle, NY 159’07”
Courtney Jacobsen 16 Warwick, RI 156’06”
Annika Kelly 13 Barrington, RI 134’05”
Samantha Kunza 13 Wentzville, MO 122’04”
Meagan Malloy 16 Esmond, RI 152’07”
Haley Showalter 17 Highlands Ranch, CO 193’04”
Alyssa Wilson 16 Toms River, NJ 143’07”
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  1. […] being “to inspire young people to overcome difficulties and achieve success.” And the youth grant program he founded 10 years ago is still going strong and serving to inspire a new generation of throwers. Due to funding issues the future of the […]

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