Freshman sets record in shot put, awarded Athlete of the Week


Philip Zoppi – Special to the Southern News 

Freshmen, Destiney Coward, set a new Northeast-10 record with a shot put score of 13.35 meters this season. Making her case for Rookie of the Year that much stronger.

Coward was awarded the Connecticut Army National Guard and Southern Connecticut State University Athlete of the Week. She was very excited to receive such a prestigious award.

“I think it’s really good and shows how much hard work I put into track and field,” said Coward. “Hopefully this hard work can lead to Rookie of the Year.”

Coward is certainly making it hard to vote against her for the award. No one has competed with her success in the shot put this year. She was the Northeast-10 Champion, All-New England performer, and All-Region in the shot put this year during her freshmen year.

Coward looks to improve even more on her freshmen year at the New England outdoor championships and Northeast 10 Conference Championships in early May.

“I’m hoping to have my best personal record in every event,” Coward said when referring to the two meets later in the year. “I really want to make it to nationals in shot put, that’s my main goal.”

These kinds of awards and achievements don’t come easily. A lot of hard work is put in behind the scenes. One of Coward’s coaches, Joseph Van Gilder has been very impressed with the time and commitment that Coward has put in this year.

“We’re looking for her to win all of her events this year. She trains really hard and is in the weight room everyday, just grinding away. She wants to be the best and you can see that.”

It’s not just the Northeast-10 championships that Cowards is having success at. She finished in first place in the shot put with a mark of 43 feet, 4.5 inches and sixth place in the weight throw with  a score of 46 feet, and 10 inches at the Metropolitan championships.

As you might have guessed shot put is by far Coward’s best event. Although she places very high in shot put and succeeds at it, she doesn’t want you to think its all natural and comes easy. In fact, a lot of training goes into it. Coward wanted to make that very clear.

“I think doing the shot put takes a lot of mental preparation,” said Coward. “You have to know how to compete. Everyone has to go in there with a goal. If you go into the shot put just to compete you’re not going to be at your best.”

Coward prides herself on being mentally ready for all of her meets and it shows in the results.

Other than being so successful at the shot put; something that Coward is starting to improve on is the weight throw.

Coward not only had a remarkable score of 13.35 meters in the shot put at the Northeast-10 championships but she placed second in the weight throw with a score of 15.50 meters.

That’s not the only time Coward’s had success with the weight throw this year. She finished fifth at the Dartmouth Relays in the weight throw with a score of 45 feet and 5.25 inches, and sixth at the Metropolitan Championships with a score of 46 feet and 10 inches.

Coward looks to improve on all of these scores as the New England Outdoor championships and Northeast-10 championships approach. Her goal is to have her personal best record in every event and qualify for nationals. A lofty goal that she looks to achieve in early May.

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