“It comes from a deep hunger,” Robert Ficarra, a first-year at KSC said.

Throwers on the track team sometimes only get three throws in a meet, but the meaning behind each of  those throws comes from somewhere deep inside.

Junior Robert Palazzo has been throwing in track and field events since he was in seventh grade.

Eight  years of throwing in those events has made a lot of impact on his life.

“I had always watched it as a kid. I had always watched my brothers throw, and my dad would always tell me that I would be a thrower. It was something that I was always kind of raised to do,” Palazzo said.

“The sport is more than just throwing,” Palazzo went on to say, “When you start to learn the intricacies of the event it’s really deep. Technique-wise the hammer is probably the hardest event. I just lost my mind doing it. It just feels good to throw.”

Athletes who participate in track and field said they have either watched the sport growing up, or  had a teacher who sparked their interest.

Either way, the sport of track and field runs deep in the hearts of these throwers.

First-year thrower Melissa Wydra said, “In eighth grade, one of my teachers encouraged me to throw. We use to have a city track meet that we would do once a year.”

She continued, “The first thing I did was throw shot put, because that’s all we threw in middle school. I just kind of fell in love with it.”

Junior Ashley Rozzi contributed to that idea that her compassion for the sport comes from the excitement of showing what she is really capable of.

“I was trying to get myself out of jumping hurdles, so I just picked up a javelin and threw it . . . the adrenaline, and the excitement to see what you are really capable of, and compare that to other people,” Rozzi said.

This past weekend was the Alliance Indoor Track & Field Championship meet for the Little East Conference and the Masschusetts State College Athletic Conference.

Keene State College placed second in the meet for both men’s and women’s track and field events. First-year Robert Ficarra placed 13 out of 25 throwers in the men’s shot put event.

Ficarra was one of the standout freshman throwers for the Owls this season.

Ficarra said that always trying to stay motivated and to outshine his opponents is how he succeeds in the throwing circle.

“I’m very motivational. I’m always about being better than the next guy. I always motivate myself to do things that people told me I couldn’t do. PRs [Personal Records] are the best — the best feeling in the world,” Ficarra said.

Many athletes said that track and field from the outside looks like an individual sport, but once an athlete becomes  a part of one of those teams, outsiders soon realize how close teammates really are.

“Track seems like an individual sport, but you are a team. When your event is done and you are on the sidelines you are definitely cheering on everyone on your team.” Ficarra said.

He continued, “I go to the track meet and I have three throws. I am there for 12 hours, and I have three throws. Those throws are the most important part of my day.”

Connor Smith can be contacted at csmith@keeneequinox.com

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