On February 23, at Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Virginia, Senior Courtney Holford won the Virginia High School League 6A State Championships in Female Shot Put.
Holford threw 42’6.25”, winning the title over the second place finisher by two feet.
Along with leading T.C.’s throwers, Holford also broke her own personal record. Prior to the state meet, Holford’s best was 39’3”, which she shattered. T.C. had four girls throw in the shot put event. The girls are coached by Rodney Johnson who is also the school record holder the for shot put. Junior Zaira Bridges, Freshman Wisdom Williams, and Senior Jailyn Sprinkle also competed at the state championship.
“It felt great,” said Holford, as she elaborated on winning. Holford noted that staying calm was one of the key components she used to win. Winning is in Holford’s nature and she has been leading the Titan female throwers for the past two years. To reach a level of prestige takes hours of practice and years of dedication.
Holford credited her improvement to, “My attitude. I am very competitive so I can get mad very quickly.” When warm-ups do not go as planned for Holford it becomes difficult for her to get into the right competitive attitude.
But, with struggles aside, she has the coaching of Johnson to assist her in the process. Johnson is well known throughout the track team for his school record. His aggressiveness mixed with some yelling gets his throwers to reach their highest potential. “Yelling at us helps us and gets everything done faster,” said Holford. Even though Holford crushed the competition, she still gets nervous about throwing.
After states comes the New Balance Nationals for Holford and Bridges, who placed fourth at states. Even though Holford crushed the competition at states, she was a little nervous about throwing at Nationals. One of the key strategies Holford tried to use is to hold onto the shot for a longer amount of time. This strategy helps throw the shot much farther and helped her place tenth at nationals, while Bridges placed 26th.
With the winter season over, track heads into the outdoor track season where the discus is an added event. The current school record for the discus is held by Iye Massaquoi who graduated in 2015. Holford’s goal for the outdoor season is to finish her senior year strong by breaking this record and leaving her name in the record books.
Courtney Holford wins the Shot Put State Championship.