Justin Welch, Eastwood OH, recently had an amazing triple, with a 243-2 hammer throw, a 198-10 in the discus, and a 59-8.75 shot put. He is well on his way to his goal of breaking the Hammer record of 260.00. Read on to learn more about Justin...
MileSplit.us: So an all-time #5 in the hammer (243-2), and significantly better than you have thrown before. How are you feeling about your strength at this point of the season?
Justin Welch: My strength from last season has gotten significantly better. Lots of hard work during the off season has put me in the spot where I want to be right now.
MileSplit.us: Has this changed your goals for the year? How close do you think you can get to the record of 260?
Justin Welch: My goal coming into the season was to break the record. After watching the video of my 243'2 I think I can break the record. I noticed my technique isn't smooth and flowing. It seems a little choppy and I am off balance in turns 3 and 4.
MileSplit.us: What type of workouts and training do you do to prepare for the varying throws that you compete in?
Justin Welch: This year I've been working more on absolute strength more than explosive lifts. I've been doing lots of variations of bench press, squats, cleans, and snatches. As for throwing, I only threw 2 days a week from November until March. Now that outdoor has started I throw everyday.
MileSplit.us: Competing at a high level in 3 different throws is impressive. How do you fit it all in, is there a focus on one event over the others? Where do you get the energy?
Justin Welch: The energy just comes natural. Also my coaches are always pushing me to the next level and not letting me back down. I probably focus more on hammer and discus during outdoors. Shot put is kinda just left behind but I still set big goals for all 3 events. I usually only have 4 days of practice a week with 2 meets a week. Two of the practice days I throw hammer/discus or hammer/shot and then the other two days of practice is just shot put or discus.
MileSplit.us: Few athletes choose to attempt three events, let alone excel at them all. What caused you to decide to focus on more than one throw during your high school career?
Justin Welch: Well I didn't throw hammer until right before my sophomore year of high school and my coach told me I would be more recruitable if I was a three event athlete. Also I didn't want to just give up shot or disc since I wanted to score points for my team at the state meet each year.
MileSplit.us: What plans do you have for the rest of the season?
Justin Welch: My plans are just continue training and competing and hopefully do well at Juniors in June.
MileSplit.us: What has been your most memorable competition to date? Why does this one stand out?
Justin Welch: The most memorable competition so far is probably a little indoor meet I was at this winter. There were four shot putters including me from Ohio that were seeded at 60ft+. We all ended up going over 60ft that meet and it was awesome to have all those guys at one meet. But my favorite overall meet is still Junior Pan Ams in Trinidad last summer.
MileSplit.us: What do you like to do with your time when you aren't competing or practicing? Hobbies? Activities with friends?
Justin Welch: When I'm not doing anything with track I usually just get together with friends and hang out. Theres not much to do here in Ohio.
MileSplit.us: What role models do you have in T&F? Why?
Justin Welch: Usain Bolt. Just his energy and confidence.
MileSplit.us: Who do you look up to outside of T&F? Why?
Justin Welch: Pretty much just any athlete who takes his/her sport seriously.
MileSplit.us: Are you competing in college and have you decided on a college yet? If so, what excites you most about collegiate throwing? Collegiate life?
Justin Welch: Yes I am competing in collegiately and I have signed with University of Georgia. The thing that just excites me the most is starting with something new. Going to a new environment and competing with good competition at every meet. College life will be fun. Getting to experience how it is to be mostly on my own.