Jacqui White, Sports Editor
During her senior season, Emily Fales has selected as the Utica College Pioneers’ Athlete of the Week twice as a thrower on the women’s track and field team.
But the New Jersey native did not even start weight throwing until her freshman year of college.
“I couldn’t do weight throwing in New Jersey when I was in high school,” Fales said. “Weight throwing for high school events, just like javelin throwing, is illegal for high school athletes in New Jersey.”
Fales said that the main reason that she started doing weight throwing at Utica was because the track and field coach told her to “give it a try.”
Despite not starting weight throwing until she entered college, Fales has broken a few of her personal records throughout her four years.
“At a meet recently, on Feb. 2, I broke a personal record of mine that helped me to qualify for NCAA Regionals,” Fales said.
Fales explained that weight throwing is now her favorite sport even though she was told by a coach to give weight throwing a chance.
“It’s recently been really clicking,” she said. “My body is able to do what it’s supposed to do, so I’m really happy.”
Fales said that getting Athlete of the Week felt especially good after experiencing an injury during her sophomore year.
“I hurt my back pretty badly two years ago,” she said. “I couldn’t really compete during that time, so I did a lot of physical therapy and exercises so that I could come back for my junior year.”
Fales explained the way she practices since she came back from her injury has helped her break her own personal records.
“If a track meet is on a Friday, we have four days of throwing with three days of lift,” she said. “If the track meet is on a Saturday, we have three days of throwing, three days of cross training or lift and then the day before the actual meet is the ‘pre-meet.’ We do ten throws of each event to try and get the kinks out so we’re ready the next day.”
Fales does not know what she wants to do after college when she graduates with her liberal studies major but she has thought a little about it.
“I guess I thought about going back to my high school to help the throwers get ready for their events,” she said. “I really don’t want my senior season to end.”
Assistant throwing coach Timothy Wilson said that he believed Fales deserved to get Athlete of the Week.
“This is my first year with Utica, but Emily has done a great job at adapting to the program that we set for her this year,” Wilson said.
Wilson explained that for the past three years Fales has been working with coach James LeMieux to get her to where she is now.
“Emily has had a lot of success over the past three years,” he said. “We installed a new program this year, and we think her success will go to the next level.”
Wilson said that Fales’ success was obvious after she qualified for Regionals at the senior meet on Feb. 2, and then, two weeks later at Saint Lawrence, she hit two more throws that would have qualified her for Regionals.
“Emily is consistently three feet over her personal record,” Wilson said. “That’s a big deal for a senior since by this time some of them will start to fall off. Emily is nowhere near burnt out.”
Wilson said that the goals Fales has set for the rest of her senior year include trying to break the school record.
“Emily can definitely break the school record,” Wilson said. “She has a lot of promise for her last season.”