Boardman's Blewitt goes west for distance
The Ashland senior hopes computer technology willlead to longer throws.
By JOHN KOVACH
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
Adriane Blewitt is hoping to learn some new methods for increasing her distance in the shot put and other throwing events as she joins other top U.S. throwers at an Olympic Summit at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego through Sunday.
Blewitt, a senior on the Ashland University women's track team from Boardman High, said the purpose of attending the Olympic Summit is "really just to take another step forward, to go the distance to try new techniques and collaborate with other coaches and philosophies about throwing.
"It's an opportunity to train in another environment to see what other methods of throwing to use," Blewitt said.
Rated as the No. 2 collegiate shot-putter in America this year with a throw of 58 feet, 91/2 inches, Blewitt hopes to capitalize on computer technology to add inches to her throws.
"It's a training weekend," said Blewitt, who expects her throws at the Olympic Summit to be digitally filmed and entered into a computer program and graphically reproduced for study and evaluation, to see where she can make changes to improve her distances.
The idea is to see where and how she can change the trajectory of her throws to maximize distances, with tips and suggestions from experienced coaches.
"We can target areas that need more help," said Blewitt, a 10-time All-American and a candidate for the U.S. Olympic team for the 2004 Summer Games.
She said the Olympic Trials will be held in July 2004 and that she already has met the qualifying standard.
This will be Blewitt's second Olympic Summit. She also attended one in November which focused on nutrition and sports psychology, among other topics. Both of her appearances were by invitation.
Repeated as champion
Coached by four-time Olympian Jud Logan, Blewitt repeated as shot put (57-73/4) champion and also won her first 20-pound weight throw title (66-10), at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships held last weekend in Boston.
She broke the Division II shot put record, bettering her first throw of 54-111/4, which broke the previous mark of 52-61/2 established by Janet Hill of California State in 1993.
Last week, Blewitt was named the Division II Female Indoor Athlete of the Year.
Until last week, Blewitt had the longest indoor shot put in the nation in any division with a career-best 58-91/2 Feb. 8 at the Doug Raymond Invitational at Kent State.
But freshman Laura Gerraughty of North Carolina, who had been No. 2 behind Blewitt, threw 59-3 in the Div. I Indoor Championships last week.
Blewitt's 58-91/2 ranks No. 3 in the nation among all women, including non-collegians, behind Gerraughty and Kristin Heaston (59-2). No. 4 is Olympian Seilala Sua (58-6).
Blewitt is the daughter of Rae Blewitt, and has a 3.6 grade-point average as a major in physical education and health. Her coach at Boardman was Denise Gorski.