The future of HSHammer and Bob Gourley’s national lists

HSHammer.com faced a reality check lately. We launched the site in 2000 to help better distribute and publicize Bob Gourley’s weekly national performance lists. Gourley started his list back in the 1990s. The high school track and field web was quiet small back then, and he distributed his lists mainly by email.

Coaches and athletes across the country awaited his weekly updates to see where they stood. As a high school thrower myself, I would memorize the lists and what I would need to jump up a few spots. The motivation provided by Gourley’s work is one of the biggest factors in the recent explosion of American hammer throwing. A few decades ago high school hammer was essentially limited to Rhode Island. Now dozens of states have athletes on the national lists, with those athletes moving on to national and international success later in their careers.

Unfortunately, Bob Gourley passed away in October. In addition to being a statistician, he was a coach of national champions, and family man. The countless hours he spent tracking results across the country are hard to replace, but in his memory we are trying to carry on the project thanks to the help of Marc Piette.

Introducing Marc Piette

Marc Piette is the head coach and throws coach at Woonsocket High School in Rhode Island. In addition he is the head coach for the Ocean State Hammerheads club team. He wanted to pass along these words to kick off the new project:

Bob is a true legend in our sport has left some big shoes to fill. He was a great friend of mine, a mentor and role model to so many including myself.  His passion for this sport is truly unmatched, his list has helped so many high school athletes be able to see where they stand in a given year against their peers, but also helped so many with their college recruitment process. With that being said, we had spoken in the past about the continuation of this list and I had always told him that I would be willing to take it over. 

Where can you find the new lists?

We do not have access to Gourley’s full email distribution list for the time being, so going forward the list will be posted on HSHammer.com. The first list of the indoor season will be posted on Thursday, December 30, 2021. The first few updates will likely come bi-weekly, and hopefully move to weekly updates as we get used to the process during the indoor season.

How do you submit results?

We are confident we have gathered around 90% of the results so far this season, but as our contact network is not as big as Gourley’s there are surely some marks missing. If you are a coach or an official and have meet results can you please forward them to my email at [email protected]. Please try to include the athletes (full name, school, grade and date of event). If you would like to be put on the email list to receive the list or any other information I send, please send your email to the same address as well. 

Please be patient as there will surely be some things to work out with the new process. Coach Piette is a full-time teacher, coach, and father. The game goes on my side as well. Please bare with me at the beginning as I am new to this. We appreciate any support you provide to keep Gourley’s work going into the future.