‘Hot−shot’ freshman

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Sometimes Adrienne Alexander has to forget she is just a freshman. She is one of the best shot putters in the state and the best in the CHSAA, but at first had realize just how close she was to the upper−echelon throwers.

“When I came to high school I had to come to the realization that they are older than me, but I know what I am capable of,” the Bishop Loughlin ninth grader said. “I’ve been doing it for so long that there should be no issues. I should be at my best all the time. It took me a bit to get over the fact they are older than me.”

Alexander finished third in this year’s outdoor state championship with a throw of 43 feet 8 .25 inches at Cicero−North Syracuse HS last weekend. Lancaster junior Melissa Kurzodorfer was first with a toss of 48−03 and Lockport’s Erin Miller placed second in 44−00.75. Alexander won the CHSAA intersectional title with a throw of 43−09.25 on May 23 and also competes in the discus.

“Their throws, they really fuel me,” Alexander said. “Every time I get a second, third or fourth it just fuels me more to come back and make sure that it doesn’t happen to me again. It’s so close. I feel like that’s what I keep doing.”

She is very much still learning the proper shot put techniques. Alexander, who used to run races from the 800 meters and down growing up, started competing in the shot when she was around 7 years old with her club team Metropolis. They asked her to do the triathlon, which included a 200 and the high jump along with the shot, which stood out as her favorite and best event. She stuck with it because her older sister Ashlei, who graduated from Flushing last year, was also a shot putter.

“I always looked up to her,” Alexander said. “She does the shot put so I was like I want to do the shot put too.”

The two became each other’s coaches. They would go out and practice three or four days a week. Ashlei taught Adrienne all that she new and Adrienne tried to help Ashlei with whatever she could. Now she is being coached in the shot put by Loughlin assistant Mozart Chevalier. He believes Alexander needs to work on her speed and the overall flow of her throw. During her glide, one of the shot put techniques, she can come to a slight stop sometimes when she lands and loses some of her momentum.

“She has 88 percent in her that she hasn’t used yet,” Chevalier said.

Added head coach Jovan Thompson: “It’s really amazing. She doesn’t have the proper form or technique as some of the other girls she is tossing against. She is going off of raw talent. Once she gets it together she should throw 46 to 47 feet next year.”

Everyone got a glimpse of what can happen when Alexander’s talent comes together with her technique at the Hartford Invitational on May 9. Before she threw Thompson said he told her to not to think and just be explosive in the circle.

“When you saw the throw, the way she was standing, the way she pushed off and the speed,” Thompson said. “She had the speed in that toss and it just flew. When I heard 44−11 I was really happy, but I had to keep my composure.”

They same can be said for Alexander.

“I was like, ‘Wow that’s good.’”, she said.

She strives to be so much better though. Alexander set a goal of throwing 45 feet as a freshman, which she is content to come close to, and wants to have a toss of 50 feet next season. It would put her in even better contention for a state title.

“My main goal is to get up there with [North Babylon’s] Vanessa [Stewart] and Melissa,” Alexander said. “I want to be beating them next year.”

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