Throwers push each other– and the record book
May 01, 2012 08:03AM ● Published by Community News Service
Alicia Carthan positions herself in the circle and prepares to make a throw. (Photo courtesy of Alicia Carthan.)
When referring to broken records, athletes usually are gunning for another person’s best mark. However, that’s not the case on the Bordentown Regional High girls’ spring track and field team.
The Scotties have two throwers who will be aiming to break their own school records.
Senior Alicia Carthan and junior Kelly Yanucil each hold school records. Carthan holds the shot put record with a distance of 39 feet, 11 inches. Yanucil holds both the discus and javelin records with distances of 116 feet and 124-9 respectively.
Second year head coach Bill Lloyd said he is impressed with the efforts of his two throwers and the example they set for the entire team.
“They really stand out because they can take it to the next level,” Lloyd said. “Both girls made it to the Meet of Champions last year and performed well.”
Yanucil placed 9th in the javelin at the MoC, but more importantly her performance qualified her for the Penn Relays. She was scheduled to compete April 26. She needed to throw 120 feet to qualify in the javelin, and instead broke the school record with a throw of 124-9.
Carthan, a four-year letterwinner headed to Rider University in the fall, may not have qualified for the Penn Relays, but her accomplishments are still impressive. As a junior, Carthan placed second in the Central Jersey Group II sectionals and state Group II Championships in the shot put and placed third in the Central Jersey Group II sectionals in the discus behind the champion—her teammate Yanucil.
“There are a couple of girls in the state that are throwing [the shot put] in the low 40s, but Alicia should be right there with them,” Lloyd said. “Alicia’s best is 39-11, and I can tell she is preparing really hard to beat that mark sometime this season.”
Carthan has been working with her father, Larry Carthan, who is a former high school thrower and Division I football player. The pair has focused on improving her technique.
“My dad and Coach Lloyd have been working with me on adding proper technique to my power form to make me a better all-around thrower,” Carthan said. “My dad wants me to maximize my potential and exceed his accomplishments, and wants me to become a complete thrower, not just a power thrower.”
The elder Carthan shot putted in the low 50s as a thrower for the Scotties in the late 1970s.
Yanucil has also been a varsity letterwinner since her freshman year. Last year, as a sophomore, Yanucil captured the Central Jersey Group II Sectional Championship in the javelin and discus, and placed third and fourth in the NJSIAA Group II Championships in each event respectively. Lloyd said he thinks she has a good shot at winning the state title in the javelin this spring.
To add to the load, Yanucil has decided to take up high jumping for the very first time this year, as well. She already has leapt to the top of the Scotties depth chart in the event.
“Kelly is that good of an athlete,” Lloyd said. “She just came out for the event to help the team and has shown us a lot of promise, already clearing 4-6.”
“[The high jump] started out as something for me to do to help out the team, but I have really started to enjoy it,” Yanucil said. “It’s another way for me to challenge myself and improve as an athlete.”
Yanucil has also added weight lifting to her training regiment, but has had to find a balance between strength and size since taking on the high jump.
“It’s hard because I want to get stronger to become a better thrower, but at the same time, I have to watch how much size and mass I put on so I don’t adversely affect my high jump performance,” Yanucil said.
Despite being fiercely competitive, Carthan and Yanucil use their intra-squad rivalry as a motivator to become better throwers and push each other.
“I’ve known Kelly through sports since middle school and have played on several teams with her, including basketball, so we’re pretty cool,” Carthan said.
“Our relationship has always been positive. She is such a good competitor and really keeps me on my toes.”
Yanucil had similar sentiments about Carthan, stating, “We’re really good friends on and off the field. She pushes me everyday to be a better thrower.” Both girls weren’t throwing their best early in the season, but they seemed to be happy with their progress.
Carthan is coming off of surgery on her left foot for a fracture on her little toe, and is only at 75 percent. She said she doesn’t feel like it’s affecting her throwing. “It’s something that I have gotten use to, and right now I’m just focusing on my technique and putting everything else out of my mind,” she said. “So, no, the surgery is not going to be a factor at all this year.”
Yanucil was experiencing the same early season rust, but was primed for her appearance at the Penn Relays.
“I threw 121 feet in our first meet this season, so I’m pretty happy about that,” Yanucil said. “I’m really hoping to hit the 130 mark at the Relays, but would be happy if I could just set a new personal record.”
After that, the Meet of Champions will be a little over a month away, on June 7. Both athletes are looking forward to improving on last year’s finishes.
“Overall, some place winners graduated, but there are still some really good throwers out there,” Carthan said. “I’m not throwing distances that I want right now, but I know that if I keep working on my form, I will definitely reach the 40-foot mark and hopefully place in the top six at the Meet of Champions.” Yanucil similar aspirations heading into this season.
“I really want to improve on my nineth place finish last year,” Yanucil said. “I’m just going to continue working hard, pushing Alicia and hope for the best at the season’s end.”