Girls That Throw 

Girls That Throw 

Sophia Alpert, Staff Writer

What is shot put? 

Shot put is a track and field event that involves throwing a heavy ball as far as possible. Technically the shot used in women’s events is 95-110 mm in circumference and weighs 4 kilograms, that’s about 8 pounds. Shot put revolves around strength and is often associated with men. Women are underrepresented in athletic environments, especially in sports that require strength. Men’s shot put has been represented in the Olympics since the first game in 1896. Women’s shot put wasn’t an Olympic event until 1948. Waltham High’s track and field team has multiple women’s shot put athletes.

One of these athletes is sophomore Caroline Fils-Aime. She is a well-rounded student-athlete who also plays soccer and tennis. Fils-Aime joined the WHS track team during her freshman year without prior experience. The head coach of the girl’s team saw her strength in the weight room and started training her to throw. Fils-Aime says, “I was excited to throw the shot put! I saw people doing it and it looked so cool.” Recalling her proudest moment throwing, she threw her personal record, 23 feet, in front of her older sister at the 2023 DCL meet. While throwing the shot can be “nerve-racking but rewarding,” Fils-Aime believes  her participation in the sport makes her stronger. “I think women are underrepresented in sports and are not shown as strong. I believe the representation of strong women starts with the younger generation.” 

Another shot put athlete making her debut in the sport is freshman D’Ani Jean. She came up to the high school this fall, like most freshmen, wondering what clubs and sports she fit into. She decided to join spring track and field with a few friends. On one of the first days of practice the coach noticed her impressive upper body strength. Shortly after she was learning to throw. Jean’s introduction to the sport has given her an appreciation for “all the different methods you can use to throw the shot because it gives you choices on what suits you best.”This season she threw her personal record, 21 feet, after receiving help from the ref. She remembers that both she and the ref were shocked. “I feel as though women’s sports are important because it shows how independent and determined, and of course athletic, women can be by themselves.” 

Outside of Waltham High School women are setting shot put records. Michelle Carter set the shot put record for American women in the 2016 Olympics. She threw the shot put 60 feet. Carter talks about her experience as a plus-size athlete and uses her platform to spread body positivity. In an interview with The Root Carter shares, “Your body is made to do something special as only for you to do and you have to love yourself no matter at what stage your body is at.” Carter encourages young female shot put athletes by creating a camp called You Throw Girl where 8th-12th grade girls can come and improve their shot put skills. Carter not only acts as a role model to young girls in sports but also encourages girls to love themselves and set their own records. 

I also throw the shot put for the Waltham High School track team. I joined the team during my freshman year hoping to stay in shape for the other sports I play. I didn’t know what shot put was before the coach put me in the event. I was nervous to try something new, but I ended up loving it. My proudest moment was when I threw my personal record, 22 feet, at the 2023 DCL meet. Shot put has encouraged me to become a strong athlete. Women’s shot put is more than just a track event, it is a reminder of how strong and capable women are.