For Bergloff, Hard Work Makes Natural Throwing Talent Pay Off

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Holliston record-breaker Isabella Bergloff showed a lot of promise throwing discus and shotput as a sophomore. With two more years to improve, she’s sure to impress.
Issue Date: 
August, 2018
Article Body: 

Having a father who was not only a track and field thrower himself, but a former coach, Holliston’s Isabella Bergloff continually heard how much fun throwing the discus and shot put was. While her father (David) found the sport to be enjoyable, he was not going to push it on his daughter.
“I had heard how much fun it was from my father, but he wanted me to make a decision on my own. So, when I eventually got the opportunity in middle school, I had to check it out,” Bergloff said. “I honestly don’t know what it was, but everything just seemed to click, and I fell in love with the sport. I’m really not sure why, but I found it really fun, especially doing it with my friends. There was also a satisfying feeling when I made a good throw.”
As a seventh grader Bergloff threw the discus 67’, upped that to 86’ as an eighth grader and eventually broke 90 with a throw of 94’ to qualify for the Junior Olympics all before entering high school.
While the Holliston Middle School allowed the throwing of the discus in practice, there was no taking part in the event during meets, so going into the state meet, Bergloff had no idea what to expect.
“I had never thrown the discus during a meet before and only had two weeks to practice,” the then seventh grader said. “After throwing 67’ (good enough for third place) I knew that with some time and practice I could do much better.”
Following her eighth-grade season, she threw 94’ to qualify for the Jr. Olympics, where at the Regionals she once again found herself finishing in third place.
“I was happy with my placement, but not too super excited with my throw of 83’, especially after throwing a personal record of 94’ to qualify. I was a little disappointed.” Bergloff said.
Coming into the high school indoor season, there was no discus throwing, so Bergloff decided to try shot put since it was then only throwing event. Despite trying the event for the first time she finished third in the Tri-Valley League as a freshman and once again knew that she could only get better with hard work.
“It was my daughter Kelly (who threw at Holliston and is now throwing for UMASS Amherst) who first told me that I needed to check her out,” Holliston Throwing Coach Manny Alves said. “After watching her a few times, I knew that she was going to be special with some hard work. She has a very strong work ethic, and we just needed to make her a better, stronger thrower.”
Holliston Girl’s Head Coach Jenn Moreau believes Alves’ hit the nail right on the head when talking about the Panther thrower.
“It’s in her blood, and as a freshman, she came in as a hard-working individual and was very mature for her age,” Moreau said. “Bella takes her throwing seriously and has become our ‘go to person’ if anyone has any questions.”
During the spring season, she threw the discus 114’, finished third in the TVL and went onto the Sectionals, but didn’t fare all that well.
“It was my first really big meet, and my nerves took over,” she said. “Throwing against juniors and seniors, who were a lot older than me, I just went out and choked. When I look back on it, it was all about the experience, not how well I did that first time.”
Coming into this past season, her sophomore campaign, Bergloff was primed to not only take on the TVL but the other female throwers in the state.
“This year, she was more focused with a goal of breaking the school record of 125’ in the discus,” the Panther Coach said. “While she now does own the school record, she didn’t quite get the results she was looking for at the New England’s and Nationals. Falling short will only drive her to do better.”
As a sophomore this past year, Bergloff put together an amazing indoor and outdoor season, definitely her best to date. During the regular indoor season she went undefeated in the TVL throwing the shot put and went on to win the TVL Championships in the event. Then, in the spring, the sophomore went undefeated in the discus and took the majority (two second place finishes) in the shot put and finished second overall in the TVL.
While she didn’t fare all that well in the Divisionals during the shotput during the indoor season, she was able to grab a second-place finish in the discus during the outdoor season.
“It was my first indoor divisional tournament, and I had just converted from a glide to a spin so I was looking at a rebuilding year,” Bergloff said. “My glide felt choppy to me and just didn’t feel right – the spin was more natural and smoother.”
During the Divisionals, Bergloff threw 122’, 124’ and 126’ breaking the Holliston school record not only once but twice. The record then fell yet again at the All States when the sophomore threw the discus 128.6’.
“I knew that I could eventually break the record, since I had already thrown a personal record of 114’,” she said. “I felt that I could improve my throwing 15-20 feet each season, and I would break it. Throughout the season I was around 119.4 and beginning to peak as the season came to an end, so I thought that it was very possible.”
Looking at Bergloff, you would never picture her for a discus or shotput thrower, but more of a runner.
“Bella is 5’8”and not as big and powerful as most throwers. She works hard and has developed her discus technique that clearly stands out among her peers,” her father said. “I have yet to see a boy or girl in Massachusetts with comparable technique. That is easy for a parent to say, but I do say it objectively.”
With still two years remaining in her high school career there is a lot of room for her to grow. Bergloff would not only like to place first or second at the All States as well as do well in the New Englands and eventually take her talents to a Division 1 College.
“The future for Bella is limitless and will be very exciting to watch. I think over the next two years, she will continue to work very hard and has a very good chance to possible break the State Meet record of 157’ 4”,” Alves said. “She is also a very good shot putter, too.”
Due to her leadership, Bergloff has been named a captain for the Panther squad this upcoming season and with her estimated growth of 15-20 feet per year, it is more than likely by the end of next year’s outdoor season she should be holding onto the State Meet record in the discus. If she does that then, she would have just been finishing her junior season and would have one more left before she left Holliston.