BY DAN GARDELLA
Asst. Sports Editor
On Feb. 16, senior thrower Christian Turner threw his way to the top in this season’s Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, N.Y. He won the shot put competition along with placing sixth in the weight toss.
According to Athletic Communications, he threw the shot put 16.51 meters, which was a personal best. His shot put throw was also the only throw to surpass 16 meters among all competitors. The throw was nearly a full meter farther than the second place finisher.
“I think shot was a little more gauged at, and then weight was something that clicked,” said Turner.
Turner’s official weight toss distance was 15.33 meters.
Sacred Heart track and field head coach Christian Morrison said that Turner threw the shot put very well on the Friday of the competition, which helped him become the second seed. It was then the senior “rising to the occasion,” that helped him outperform his opponents.
In previous years, Turner battled through injuries that prevented him from performing at his full ability and even missing significant time.
The difference between practicing and playing when fully healthy, and playing while battling an injury is significant according to Turner.
“You are able to do the work at the end of the day, but it’s just at the level that you’re able to do it at,” said Turner. “Instead of being able to run through your sprint workout, you are following near the end and you’re not going as fast as you could.”
Along with the level of performance being reduced, Turner also said that when battling injuries, he loses his momentum in terms of consistent training and workouts.
“It’s a nice feeling to win, but it gets you ready for the next big meet. It’s ‘That’s cool, great accomplishment, what’s next?’,” said Turner. “ IC4A’s is next, and I am really trying to make the top eight.”
The IC4A Championship is one of the oldest National Collegiate Athletic Association track and field competitions in the United States. It will run from March 1-3 in Boston.
“You don’t take anything personally,” said Turner. “It’s business at the end of the day. As long as you keep the mentality that ‘I did what I could’, that’s in the past, and you move forward.”
Morrison’s plan for his athletes is to take them from where they started, or “Point A”, and develop over the course of four years, like Turner has, to reach “Point B”. Looking back on the full body of work, development is one of the words Morrison uses to describe Turner.
“Like most college students, he [Turner] has matured over his four years. He’s probably applying his natural talent and ability at a more efficient and higher rate than he ever has before,” said Morrison. “Over the course of his career, he made some pretty steady progress despite the injuries. He’s doing what we hope most of our athletes do.”