In the sport of track and field, running and jumping events receive more attention from spectators and athletes than the throwing events—the shot put and discus. Here, the competition is either won or lost in the throwing circle with no one beside the thrower, the throwing object and the tape measure. For three Salt River High School track and field athletes, throwing is their focus this season.
Lloyd Lewis, Monty Benally and Breshea Thomas recently represented the Eagles at the Phoenix Christian High School Invitational on April 6. They were the only three athletes from Salt River who competed in the track and field meet. Both Lewis and Benally are coached by Steve Adams, and Thomas is coached by Fremina Sisco, with Paul Thomas assisting all three throwers.
Breshea Thomas has been competing on the track and field team for Salt River for the past three seasons. She has been throwing both the discus and shot put for the girls team.
“I enjoy coming out here and competing and being part of the team,” she said. “My brother got me into throwing and then I decided I wanted to keep doing it. I thought it would be hard to throw, but is really isn’t that hard.”
She said the most difficult part was learning how to throw both the shot put and discus. She said learning the technique for shot put was the toughest part for her.
Benally is competing in track and field for the first time this year. He decided to learn how to throw the discus and the shot put.
“I learned from my two coaches Steve and Paul, and my brother also works with me at home because he used to throw when he was in track,” he said.
He said throwing is difficult. “It is mainly technique, technique, technique, and I am used to that from wrestling. It is just repetition all the time,” Benally explained.
While he thinks throwing involves some mental preparation, Benally said the main thing he has to remember is to relax while he is in the throwing circle.
Lewis is also competing for the first time this season.
“I joined the team to continue working out,” he said. “Coach Steve said I should come out and keep working out, so I did.”
Lewis explained how his coaches have dedicated their time to teaching the throwers their technique.
“It is easy to throw once you learn the proper steps, but you have to get used to the form because sometimes it is uncomfortable,” he said.
The throwers performed well at the invitational and added points to the team score. The boys team finished tied for 10th place with 10 points, and the girls team finished 11th with three points.