The young Mountain Range track team put their abilities on the line against stiff competition of athletes representing 40 teams that took part in the April 27-28 Liberty Bell Invitational Track Meet …
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The young Mountain Range track team put their abilities on the line against stiff competition of athletes representing 40 teams that took part in the April 27-28 Liberty Bell Invitational Track Meet held at Littleton Public School Stadium.
Assistant Coach Kyle Wiffer talked about the team as they were preparing to compete April 27.
“We are fairly young team this season,” he said. “We do have about 90 out for the team with more boys than girls. I coach the sprinters and relays with only two boys and very little depth on the girls side. Three of our leaders graduated last year and went to Division One schools. Our girls distance runners are fairly strong. Clair Rusovick who set the school record two meets in a row. Amber Gustason is one of our leaders as she is among the state leaders in shot and discus.”
Gustason who was preparing to compete in the discus April 27 talked about her events and her plans for the future.
“I am a basketball player and my freshman year some of my friends asked me to come out and do shot and discus, I said no,” she said. “They asked me again the next year, I decided to try it, and I liked it so I am always working hard to get better.”
This year, Gustason is currently ranked fourth in the state with a throw of 42 feet, 5 inches and she is ranked 11th in state with her throw of 124 feet, one inch.
She said personally at first it was easy to learn to throw the discus but as you get better the technique gets more particular and meticulous such the difference in you throw if your foot is here compared to if your foot is in a different location.
“A lot of the power for shot and discus comes from how you generate power from the ground,” the senior said. “If you try to throw just using body strength you can only throw so far. If you want to throw further you have to generate power from the ground.”
She said she lifts weights every day. She said some days the weight training is focused on upper body strength and other days the focus is on leg strength.
Gustason said she likes throwing the discus a little better because you can see the way you throw and you can see how well you made the release and whether or not you are generating enough power. But she said she like throwing the shot because her shot put distances are more consistent this year.
“I want to throw the discus more than 130 feet this year,” she said. “My goal for shot put was to throw more than more than 40 feet this season. I hit that a few weeks ago and now my goal is to have a throw over 43 feet.”
She said she will continue to compete in shot and discus after graduation she will throw the shot, discus and hammer for Western Colorado State University.
“The school has a three-year bachelors program and a five-year master’s program,” she said. “I want to get my bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science that is focus on athletic training and then get my master’s degree in sports physiology.”
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