The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Alexis Ryan Throws Herself Into Record Books

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Alexis Ryan is a triple threat. On the track team, she’s a league-wide throwing champion and record holder. She’s also a star on the Girls Varsity Hockey team, and captain of the field hockey team. Athletically, Alexis is not to be messed with.

Alexis, a senior from Mesa, AZ, came to Williston to play hockey as a freshman, but she quickly became an integral part of the track team. She has been throwing since her freshmen year, and has fallen in love with discus for its technicality. It’s her favorite event, and the one she excels at the most.

Alexis’ rise to the top of the discus scoreboard, it turns out, was accidental.

“Williston makes you play three sports and throwing just seemed fun and I wouldn’t have to run, so I thought why not,” Alexis said. “Freshman year I wasn’t the best, but I had a lot of fun and when I saw good throwers, I wanted to be able to do that, so I started investing time and energy and learning the correct techniques.”

Freshmen year she didn’t place at New England’s; it wasn’t until sophomore year when she started her reign as discus champion. She has now won two years in a row, and she feels that her second championship was better than the first.

“Winning junior year was even better because of my throw,” she said. “There was a girl from Westminster [who] was very good, but I was throwing last and I knew right when it came out of my hand it was going to be the winner.”

After her freshmen year she wanted to get better and throw further so she got a personal coach for the summer.

“I knew I couldn’t do it alone,” she said. “I couldn’t expect to only throw three months out of the year and just get better, so I needed a change. It’s amazing what a good coach can do for you, and in one season my discus PR [personal record] went up from 75 to 100 [feet].”

She takes pride in every throw, whether or not she gets a personal record. She said she enjoys the records and accolades, but also loves competing against herself.

Alexis has a few things she does before every throw to make sure she’s at the top of her game.

“Before I throw I usually really quickly run through everything in my head that I need to do,” she said. That list includes sweeping her back foot across the circle, jumping to the middle, keeping her arm extended, landing facing the back, and rising when she throws. “Then I turn around and look where I’m about to throw, take a deep breath, and start my spin.”

Last year Alexis, with a throw of 106′ 2, broke a 30-year school record in discus previously set by Leah Stahlsmith ’87 in 1987.

The record-breaking throw was more than just a number, she said.

“It meant so much to me because it was a 30-year-old record and I worked so hard to achieve that goal,” she said. “I then went on to extend the record at New England’s and I hope to do that this year as well. ”

Last year in New England’s, Alexis had a great performance in every event that she participated in. She took home first place in the discus, second place in javelin, and fifth place in the shotput.

She won discus with a throw of 109′ 11 which is now her current personal record. Her other personal records are: 102′ 5 in Javelin and 32′ 9 in the shotput.

After this season Alexis will not be hanging up her throwing shoes; next year she will be going to Middlebury College to play both hockey and throw for their track team.

“I’m actually really excited I’m getting the chance to play both hockey and track next year at Middlebury,” she said. “I actually turned down certain schools because they didn’t offer track or wouldn’t let me play both, so it was a big decision for me. I realized I wasn’t ready to give track up yet and I wanted to continue to get better and possibly place in the NESCAC championships as well.”

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The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America
Alexis Ryan Throws Herself Into Record Books