The discus throw is among the most ancient of Olympic sports. It is also the most technical, requiring not only strength but also balance, agility, and coordination far beyond that possessed by most people. It is a proven fact that a thrower with proper form will beat a thrower with equal or even slightly superior strength every time. Of course, the ideal discus athlete will possess both strength and technical prowess, and will excel in the sport.
17 year old Saintsman senior Tom Hart is just such an athlete.
Tom began throwing discus in his freshman year, after head track coach Jerry Downey suggested that the 400 meters was not the event for him. Tom immediately took to the sport and fell in love with it, and has been excelling ever since. He broke the 9-year old Saints discus record of 162 feet in his junior year, and has broken his own record at nearly every meet since then. Currently ranked #1 in California and in the USA with a throw of 181 feet 7 inches at last Saturday’s Bronco Relays, Tom is well on his way to achieving his goal of 200+ feet by the end of the year.
While Tom does possess much natural talent, he does not take that for granted. He follows a tough year-round program of conditioning, weight training, and throwing, averaging nearly 20 hours per week in the gym and on the field. He also watches hours of video, analyzing the techniques of the throwing greats and carefully reviewing his own technique to make corrections and adjustments when necessary. Tom is careful about what he eats, too. “I just stick to eating organic foods and avoiding processed foods,” he says, and the results speak for themselves.
Tom’s goals are ambitious, but certainly within reach. “I definitely plan to continue throwing in college,” he says. “If I had the choice to go to any college I would choose the one that would give me the greatest possibility of progressing to the next level of throwing, the Olympics. Those colleges would be USC and UCLA. Either college I would enjoy attending.” In addition to winning Olympic gold, Tom says, “My ultimate goal on the field would be to break the world record.” But in true Saintsman fashion, Tom is appreciative of his experiences here and desires to give back. “As a career choice,” he says, “I would greatly enjoy doing something in the healthcare industry or simply returning some of the knowledge I have gained to other throwers and athletes.”