Janae Profit of Dunwoody HS is one of top Throwers in the country, she ranks 2nd in the Discus, 8th in the Shot and 19th in the Indoor Weight Throw in 2020.
Most people that I have met, have a very bizarre story as to how they started throwing. Perhaps, they were doing another sport and they were approached because of their "body type" or maybe no one else on the team could do it so they were singled out. Its usually by total accident that someone stumbles into throwing. Regardless, throwers are usually the stepchildren to the Track and Field World. Our Points help win championships but not a lot of people know or understand what's usually happening away from the track.
Thanks to Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Michelle Carter and others, people are starting to take notice of how exciting the throws are during a track meet. There are a couple different types of throwing events. There is the ever-present Shot Put, the beautiful flying Discus Throw, the hated heavy Weight Throw and the whirling, winding, Hammer Throw. Each event so specific that you need to be dedicated to technique so precise that very few people are able to dominate more than one specialty.
If you are ever watching the throws, you have to slow the tape down a lot to truly see what is going on. Think of it like this. You need the strength of an Olympic Powerlifter, combined with the grace of Ballet Dancer and the speed of a world class sprinter and then let's put something in your hand that weighs anywhere between 2 -- 35 lbs.
|Event||HS Boys||College Men||HS Girls||College Women|
|SHOT PUT||12 lbs||16 lbs||4 kg||4kg|
|DISCUS||1.6 kg||2.0 kg||1 kg||1 kg|
|WEIGHT THROW||25 lbs||35 lbs||20 lbs||20 lbs|
|HAMMER THROW||12 lbs||16 lbs||4 kg||4 kg|
Did I mention that all of this has to be done within a ring the size of the circle at the top of a basketball key? Did I also mention that throws need to land within a sector that can be made well by throws enthusiast or disastrously by some unexperienced volunteer? I also forgot to mention that there is a cage. Its for the protection of spectators and participants but it is also the BANE OF noises by anyone who has heard their implement hit it with full force.
All of this incredible yet for most High Schools, practice for this occur in parking lots and other abandoned places. Every High School does not have a place or space to throw discus. Often toe board for shot rings are unavailable but will be present during competition. Georgia doesn't officially participate in an Indoor Season, therefore there usually isn't a place to throw indoor weight. The Hammer Throw is also not a GHSA official event so finding a cage strong enough to protect throwers from this ball and chain is difficult. Yet all of these events are contested in college and D1 schools expect HS students to have experience, training and an emerging mastery at these events. This is another reason why I love the throws. We find ways to practice and become better in spite of lacking facilities and sometimes support.
You can't judge a thrower by its cover. Most people think that if you are BIG and Strong that this is easy for you as a thrower. However, if you look at throwers, we come in all sizes. People think that there is a "body type" but to be honest, the only thing that is universal about Throwers is that we love throwing heavy things really far.
Throwing is actually EXTREMELY technical. There is such a method to the madness of throwing. You almost have to be a physics major to understand most of the angles, body alignment, foot placement, weight disperse, timing and releases that are needed to get a good throw. Then you must practice that over and over again until your body does it as second nature. However, as your body changes, you are going to have to change that too, so you are always learning YOUR throw.
All in all, there is nothing like hearing the grunt, snarl or yell of someone throwing as they let one really sail. You know that you are in for a show when each participant is really letting it loose, yelling and pushing as hard as you can. Afterall, many times top marks are separated by mere inches, maybe even centimeters.