The Bishop Fenwick track program has been a pioneer in the weight throw and is one of a handful of teams in the state very seriously training for this event that is popular in college but not part of league meets at the high school level.
However, Crusader throwers spend a lot of time on mastering it, and have been very successful in big meets including nationals. St. John’s Prep also pays a lot of attention to the event, and it pays off in dividends when athletes compete at the college level because they have already learned the basics.
“There are only a couple of programs in the state that do it,” said Fenwick track coach Jay Smith. “The Prep, Burlington, and O’Bryant are the only ones I know of. There are a couple of kids here and there from other schools. Xaverian and Malden Catholic have purchased equipment for the weight throw so the number is slowly growing. I don’t foresee the MIAA approving it for meets any time soon though.
“It’s definitely a motivating factor for any kid wanting to continue to throw in college. Lexi Culkeen (former Fenwick track star) was perfectly suited for the hammer and weight. She went on to have a great career at Holy Cross, and shortly after she left Fenwick we started devoting more time to it. We’ve been to nationals every year for the past four, and the event continues to grow in popularity.”
Smith said the weight throw is an exhibition event in Fenwick’s dual meets, but the Tri County League offers support, a circle, and paid officials to measure results. Those marks are used to qualify for other events. Last weekend the Crusaders enjoyed great success at the Boston Holiday Challenge at the Reggie Lewis Center.