Caitlin Way adjusting well to college throwingMitchell native Caitlin Way is only in her first competitive season as a thrower for the track and field team at Oklahoma State University, and she’s already continuing the success she had as a high school thrower.
Mitchell native Caitlin Way is only in her first competitive season as a thrower for the track and field team at Oklahoma State University, and she’s already continuing the success she had as a high school thrower.
During her time at Mitchell High School, Way claimed the school record in the shot put event with a throw of 42 feet 2.75 inches. She also holds the school record in the discus event with a throw of 149-11. During her senior year, Way was the Class AA discus state champion and overall gold medal winner in the discus event. She was also the conference champion in both the shot put and the discus events.
So far in college, she’s already improved her throw tremendously. In the 2011 outdoor season, she was the first-team academic all-Big 12 conference honoree. She threw the fourth-best hammer throw performance in OSU history with a toss of 50.72 meters and she also competed in the hammer throw in the Big 12 outdoor championships. Way said going from competing in the discus event in high school to competing in the hammer in college was a big change.
“I was redshirted my first year here, so luckily I got to have that time to adjust,” Way said.
“It’s a completely different event and it took me awhile to adjust. The discus event in high school was my bread and butter so to go into college and find out that I wasn’t going to throw that event was really disappointing, but now I see the potential my coach saw in me for the hammer event,” she said.
The year Way had to adjust has certainly helped her in her first year of competition and her throws are proof of that.
During the 2011 indoor season, she recorded a weight-throw of 15.98 meters, which is the sixth-best weight throw in OSU history. Way started off the 2012 season with a weight throw of 17.82 meters, which is the third-best throw in school history. Her most recent accomplishment came on April 21 when she recorded a hammer throw of 57.34 meters, which is a new personal record for her and is also the third-best effort in OSU history.
Way said her success in the throwing events comes from lots of practice and hard work.
“You don’t realize it until you’re competing in the Big 12, but it takes so much more just to be good in the conference in one event,” Way said.
“Honestly, I consider it like my full-time job. Some kids go and work at McDonald’s but I get to go to track practice every day instead. I have a lot of two-a-days so I go and lift in the morning, go to school, eat lunch and then go throw in the afternoon.”
Way said although there are lots of differences between high school track and collegiate track, the part she likes best is being able to focus on track year round, instead of having to switch sports every couple of months as in high school. She said the hardest part about competing at OSU hasn’t been physical, it’s been mental.
“The hammer throw is probably the most straining event to compete in. It takes a lot of focus,” Way said.
“You’re doing four turns in the circle and there’s just a multitude of things that could go wrong. An inch one way or the other could make a complete difference,” she said. “The minute I step in the ring I’m focusing on the throw and every turn I’m thinking about all the mental cues I need to give my body.”
Way feels she’s already accomplished a lot in her collegiate career but said she’s mostly just focused on improving her throw in each competition.
“For me, a lot of it is just having a routine and a list of cues that I really have to focus on and just going from there,” Way said.
“I’m building confidence and picking up speed every throw, every week.”