Tualatin girl makes the big throw
Tualatin's Madison Speer grabbed the spotlight when she broke the 120-foot barrier in the hammer throw for the first time during Friday's Super Thrower Track Club all-comers meet at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City.
Speer, an eighth-grader at Hazelbrook Middle School, popped a throw of 122 feet, 0 inches to win the 13-14 girls division in the club's final meet of the 2019 outdoor season, breaking her previous best of 116-2 set on July 12.
"I'm just really happy," Speer said. "I've just been practicing a lot."
Speer, 13, opened her series with a mark of 113-8 and then took aim on her own personal record book with throws of 121-11, 118-0, 122-0, and 117-10 before scratching on her final attempt.
She picked up a 2-kilogram hammer for the first time joined coach Scott Skipper's throwing club in Oregon City a little over a year ago and within a month went from throwing 45-10 to throwing 63-2 1/2.
Speer graduated to the 3-kilogram hammer this summer and went from throwing 78-8 1/2 on March 2 to breaking the 100-foot barrier for the first time with a throw of 106-0 1/2 on May 4.
She then closed out the season with marks of 110-0 or better in each of her last four meets.
"Madison is just so dedicated," Skipper said. "This summer, honestly, I was thinking anything over 100 feet would be really good. To throw 120, honestly, that's really out there, but she works hard and she focuses when she is at practice, and that's saying something for someone her age."
Skipper said Speer also had the benefit of joining his club at a time when Sherwood's Shelby Moran and Lake Oswego's Ava David were among the nation's top-ranked girls in the hammer throw.
"She has looked up to Ava and Shelby and actually threw in a meet with Shelby before Shelby took off to go to Arizona State," Skipper said. "It really helps when you have the older kids doing it and enjoying it and working hard. The younger ones see it, and Madison has definitely seen it and she wants to be like them."
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