The sound of determination mirrors the feeling at the United States Track and Field Masters National Throws Championship at Benedictine University.
Lew Breese: This week, the three events that were contested were the weight throws which comprise of discuss, the hammer, the javelin, the shot put and the weight. And then today was the super weight throw and the ultra weight pentathlon.
Lew Breese competes in the 70-79 age group. He’s one of over 100 Men and Women, ages 35 and up, from all over the world, who took on the challenge last weekend in Lisle to compete in one of the various Throws Competitions taking place this year.
Lew Breese: We’ve had meets throughout the world this year. I have competed in California and I’ve competed in Maryland. I’ve competed as far south as Florida and as far North as Minnesota. I mean, you go all over and throwers basically stick together, Men and Women. There are a lot of ladies that throw the various implements.
The Masters program has over 10,000 active members and while Some competitors come from a collegiate background, others, like Roslyn Katz, picked up the sport later in life.
Katz: I didn’t start until I was 50. Some people started in elementary school, some started in college. But because of my age, I didn’t start until I was 50 because the women didn’t have an opportunity, when I was young to do this and it was way before all the Title whatever’s and we are now doing it.
Katz’s late start doesn’t hurt her though. She puts in the practice just like everyone else. On competition day she’s ready to toss with the rest of the competitors. It’s the community that comes with the sport that is an added bonus to both Breese and Katz.
Katz: It’s grueling. It takes endurance as well as proficiency. It’s both. It’s a lot of endurance and all of us who are here, we just enjoy each other company, we have a good time, and we also do physical throwing.
Breese: But it’s great that they follow the circuit and get out here and just support the sport.
The weights that are tossed decrease as the age increases. Breese heaved 38 pounds in the super weight competition which helped him finish 3rd in his age group. However, he doesn’t plan on stopping after the medal hangs from his neck.
Breese: You do it because you love the sport and you want to push yourself as much as you possibly can without hurting yourself but you want to see where in the mix of things that you land. And there are guys that are here that I don’t think I ever will beat, but I keep trying!
Katz: We just try to stay in shape and we practice and it’s just something we enjoy doing and we put in the hours that it takes.
Breese: They keep getting better, I keep getting older so ya know hopefully some day we are going to meet and we are all going to be the same.
The determination and achievements from all the competitors is something that can be carried through the rest of their life. Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Allie Kaleta.
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