Hockenbury Learned aas a Sophmore that Shotput was her Sport

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Photos by Steve Bassignani
Issue Date: 
March, 2019
Article Body: 

Hopedale track Coach Tim Maguire had tried to entice Kate Hockenbury, when she was in seventh grade, to join the track team, but she just wasn’t interested and was already playing softball in the spring. However following her freshman campaign with the Blue Raider softball season she began having second thoughts.
“Having played outfield for the softball team I realized that there was no future for me in the sport,” she said. “A friend of mine, Olivia Carlin, was already throwing shot put for the team and I figured I’d give it a try at least I’d have someone to throw with.”
Last year as a sophomore Hockenbury picked up the shotput for the very first time and following her first meet she knew that this was the sport for her.
“I was a little nervous at first s I really didn’t know what I was doing in practice,” Hockenbury said. “But during my first meet against Whitinsville-Christian my very first throw went 25’ 4” to break the school record of 24’ 8”.”
Not only was she totally amazed her what she had done, she didn’t even realize that she had that type of strength. After the announcement of the throw and the acknowledgement from her coach that she had broken the school record Hockenbury began to regret not joining the team when Coach Maguire first asked her three years earlier. Throughout the rest of her first campaign with the Blue Raiders Hockenbury continued to break her record throw after throw, six times to be exact. By the end of the year the sophomore had increased her best throw to 28’ 8”.
After seeing what she could accomplish in only her first year throwing the shot put, Hockenbury decided to take her new found love to the next level and attended a camp to help her develop her technique. At the camp she went from standing and throwing to a full glide throw and although she continued throwing improperly she eventually mastered the glide throw.
Last year Hockenbury just missed qualifying for post-season play by being a quarter of an inch short. Thus far this season she has already thrown the shot put 30’ 11 ¾” and has already qualified for the Division 5 Sectionals as well as the States.
“As a junior captain she is not only an all-around athlete, but has taken on a leadership position within the tram,” Hopedale Coach Sara Rafferty said. “She works rally hard and her confidence has definitely grown.”
Entering the winter season the junior had set some goals for herself. First she was hoping to break the 30 foot mark on her throws as she found herself right there, a mere 1 foot-2 inches off, by the end of last season. She also wants to eclipse the 35 foot mark by the end of the year and reach the mid 40’s by the end of her senior campaign.
Although the junior was unable to get to 35 feet by the end of the year, she was able to compete in both the Division 5 Sectionals as well as the State Tournament. Competing in the Division 5 Sectionals Hockenbury tossed the shot-put 33’ 4.5” to take home a second place finish and earn her spot at the States. Participating in the States, Hockenbury fell short of her year-end goal but did manage to finish in sixth place with a throw of 33’ 4.5”.