Leading the pack from the field: Kristen Herr, the freshman throwing sensation
Admittedly, it’s been a rough season so far for the L-S track team. The boys and girls teams have combined for one win in eight total chances, now half way through the season. But looking at a track team’s overall record doesn’t give all the facts. Indeed, one must dig deeper for the individual success stories, like Kristen Herr.
|Herr lets the javelin fly in a meet earlier this year|
If you have not heard her name yet, you will soon: as a freshman, Herr has already earned seven first places, one second place, and one third place, which amounts to a sum total of 39 points scored over four meets. That’s almost ten points a meet, which is remarkable considering even an upperclassman can only hypothetically earn up to 20 if they win all four events in which they participate. To score that many as a freshman is remarkable, but it has not happened overnight.
Herr began throwing in middle school.
"Both of my parents did track, so I decided to go out in seventh grade," she says. "It worked out really well, and I’ve stuck with it."
Working out well is almost an understatement.
Herr likes throwing because of the "good coaches and athletes," and the fact that the people in the "throwing community are super nice and willing to help."
One of those people is her father, Troy Herr, who is the throwing coach at L-S. He enjoys working with his daughter as an athlete, but stresses that at practice, she addresses him as "coach" just like the rest of the team; of course, working with one's own child is special.
"Kristen is a high level athlete that has speed, power, and agility," says Troy. "She is a student of the throwing events who works hard in practice and is very coachable. She should have a bright career on the L-S track & field team."
|Kristen Herr finds throwing to be invigorating and finds inspiration and guidance from other throwers, refusing to form rivalries and preferring to improve herself|
Kristen has grown to find throwing to be an invigorating event.
"The feeling you get when you throw is almost like ... powerful, and when you 'let one fly' it’s fun to watch," she says.
Then again, she acknowledges, "Sometimes after you’ve thrown you think it was a terrible throw by the way it felt, but you end up beating your PR (Personal Record)."
Her favorite event is discus because, in her words, "it’s really fun to see it fly."
Herr enjoys daily practices; she is angling to beat the freshman shot put record and improve overall.
As of now, Herr does not report having any specific rivals at other schools, but says she knows most of the freshman girls at competing schools and enjoys the camaraderie.
Currently, Herr's records stand at:
Discus: 115 feet, 4 inches
Shot put: 32 feet, 6 inches
Javelin: 119 feet, 1 inch
Down the road, Herr does hope to get a scholarship in throwing for college, although she conceded it is "kind of silly as a freshman" to be thinking that far ahead.
Though with the skyrocketing cost of college, being able to throw rockets through the sky may just help bridge the gap. More power to her.
The track team's final home meet is on Monday, May 9, against Solanco. Herr will be there. LSNews.org will be there. You should come too.
--Justin Burkett, LSNews.org Managing Editor; Photos by Payton King, LSNews.org Sports Photographer
Editor-In-Chief Benjamin Pontz contributed to this report.