Joe Frye, assistant track and field coach and Belmont University graduate, went to the Olympic trials in June for having a remarkable hammer throw in March 2016.
“Each year the USA track and field governing body holds outdoor championships and on Olympic years it turns into Olympic trials,” said Frye.
Twenty-four people qualify for trials, and his throw of 224 feet and 11 inches put him at No. 21 of the list. The top three contenders at trials went on to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Unfortunately, Frye was not one of them. Instead, he gained experience and perspective.
“It was a really cool event. It was the first time it was held at Hayward Field,” said Frye.
Hayward Field is the most popular track and field complex in the U.S. It’s the Madison Square Garden of track and field, said Frye.
Normally, an event like this does not get much attention because it is offsite, but it took a turn for the best in June. The audience was clapping for everyone, even if there was a terrible throw.
“It was really cool to be the center of attention for a sport I have a strong passion for and that I coach,” said Frye.
Frye witnessed college students competing alongside middle-aged athletes. Everyone has their own style of throwing, but they are all aiming to throw as far as possible.
Throughout the 10 years he has been throwing hammer, Frye has learned how to keep himself motivated. Practicing daily and searching for improvement is one way.
“When you do get better you have to savor that,” said Frye.
He has lost count of how many national championships he has participated in.
“I have gone to six or seven national championships before,” said Frye.
The trials took seven days to complete, and his favorite part at the end of it all was returning to familiar faces.
“Finishing up and going over to this huge welcoming party and seeing all that support was one of the coolest moments of the day,” said Frye.
He had his parents, wife and former and current athletes there to support him.
“I’m really lucky to have a family and athletes that care about what I do. That’s really motivating to me,” said Frye.
Photos provided by Joe Frye.