Today we're shining a much-deserved spotlight on ENELL Ambassador Brooke Pleger. Today she's competing in the Olympic Trials in her sport of Hammer Throw.
We did a Q&A with her as she heads into today's competition:
What is exactly is hammer throw? How would you describe it in its simplest terms for those who have never seen it?
Hammer throw is a track and field event. They don't have it in high schools, unless you join a specific track club. It is basically an iron ball, attached to a wire with a handle. The ball weighs 4 kilograms. You wind the ball a couple of times, and turn then release. Everyone does a different number of turns, but it's usually around 3-4 turns. I do 4.
What got you interested in hammer throw? How long have you been throwing?
I became interested in hammer right before my senior year in high school. I joined a track club to improve my shot and discus marks, but the coach in the club was really into hammer. He got me started and I fell in love right away. Prior to throwing, I was a gymnast for 13 years. My gymnastic coach was married to my track and field coach and she was the one who suggested I try throwing. I started throwing shot and discus my freshman year in high school, but did not pick up the hammer until my senior year. This will be my 7th year throwing hammer.
What does your training program look like? Do you have to focus on strength or conditioning or a combo? Any favorite training activities?
My training program is mostly throwing. I don't do much cardio work at all. I spend 5 days a week taking around 20 throws per session. After each throws session I have a lift that I do. The weight is usually kept in the 70% of max range. I do enjoy squats and power cleans.
The road to the Olympics is a very long one! What is the trials process, and how can we follow along?
The Trials started on July 1st and end on July 10th. Women's hammer is July 6th at 1pm PST. I am in the second flight of women's hammer, so I will most likely be throwing around 2pm. There will be live results posted at this link.
There will also be a live stream video on NBC extra live online. There is an Olympic trials standard (67m for women) and if you hit that standard you are automatically in for the trials. They will however, fill the field up to 24 athletes. So even if you don't throw 67m, if you are in the top 24 then you will qualify. I qualified with a throw of 69.72m and am sitting in 8th place going in. Top 3 finishers at the trials will go on to Rio.
Where can people go to find out more about this sport?
Check out USATF.org as well as throwholics.com.