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445 Reservoir Street, LANCASTER, PA 17602

Saturday, June 16, 2001

Beating Mother Nature

By Glenn Thompson

TROYMAJR.JPG (25740 bytes)Sunday, June 17, was a brilliant early summer day.  Mostly clear blue skies with fluffy white clouds, the kind that seem to serve no purpose other than as backdrop to the sun.  A gentle breeze blew clearing any of the typical southcentral Pennsylvania humidity.  You couldn’t help but think throwing weather  doesn’t  get much better than that.  Visions of discii  sailing on the jetstream bounced in my head.

Just our luck, the Long & Strong Throwers Classic had been held a day earlier, as the remnants and offshoots of tropical storm Allison littered the Mid-Atlantic states with enough moisture to ward off any drought warnings for the foreseeable future.   Rainfall was uneven in the Susquehanna Valley, but Lancaster’s J.P. Macaskey High School, site of the Classic for the second year, caught most of it.  Fortunately LANGJAV.JPG (16262 bytes)lightning was not a factor and there even a couple brief periods of when the heavens held back.

No amount of cloud cover could obscure some of the shining performances put forth by the forty participants.  Neni Lewis of the New York Masters Club continued her record-setting ways in the hammer, exceeding the American W40 standard with a toss of 49.08m.  The explosive Lewis has room for technical improvement and consistency, and once that comes, the sky is literally the limit. On the men’s side, Harrison Bailey III simply slipped into “the zone”, as he threw the 35-pound weight Scottish style in an exhibition.  Harrison’s series includedHB3.JPG (18797 bytes) 20.79m, 21.53m, 21.76m, and topped out at an outstanding 22.54m (73-10).  Bailey’s dynamic one-handed style (in running, not throwing, shoes) appeared to place him in peril given the conditions, but he was not to be denied.

As for the Classic, participation was up from the inaugural event last year, six officials were present as opposed to four the prior year, and there were plenty of medals for everyone.  The meet began at 10:15 and the final section of the discus concluded after 3:30.  One lesson learned was the discus/hammer cage is our bottleneck, and next year the hammer will have an earlier start.

We’re already dreaming about next year’s event, with fluffy white clouds...    *LSTJ*