, Salem, MA


January 4, 2014

Jean DePlacido column: Under Smith, Peabody tracksters embrace new weight throw event


The Tanners saw immediate results at the first weight event of the young season. Last weekend Smith took juniors Marcus Vieira and John Spinale to the Boston Holiday Challenge at the Reggie Lewis facility. Vieira placed second in the 25-pound weight throw with a toss of 50 feet 8 1/4 inches, while Spinale was eighth (39 feet). The winner was Acton-Boxborough junior Matt Dutton (54 feet), who works with Smith and trains with a group of Tanners learning the event.

“It was a great start,” said Smith. “In six total throws Vieira got better each time, and all three kids had their best on the last throw. Marcus was winning the meet until Dutton’s next to last throw. I’m very pleased with their progress in such a short time; we’ll be back at Reggie Lewis this weekend, then have the Dartmouth State Relays Jan.10-11.

“We throw early in the morning because you’ve got to be very careful that the 25 pound weight doesn’t get away when there are a lot of people around, but there’s a lot of other stuff we can do to train. Things will really heat up in mid-February into March.”

Smith has been very pleased with the response at Peabody and enjoys having four other coaches working with weight events.

“Fernando has good guys on his staff, and the kids are developing quickly,” said Smith, who is still trying to help out at Fenwick, saying he wrote their program for the first three weeks of the season. “Peabody swept the shot put in the first two events. One freshman made a 4-foot improvement at the Freshman-Sophomore meet. We’re converting to a rotational-style throw and Patrick Chang, one of our freshmen, is already throwing 34 feet.

“We have opportunities to make some noise as a team. I love having a lot of big bodies on this team; as a throwing coach that’s just what you want to see.”

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