Stauffer’s big throw snaps 34-year mark

By on January 14, 2015
 Cocalico’s Emily Stauffer (left) stands with Coach Scott Krall after her big throw Saturday at Lebanon Valley College.

Cocalico’s Emily Stauffer (left) stands with Coach Scott Krall after her big throw Saturday at Lebanon Valley College.

The winter track season for high school athletes doesn’t attract much attention. If you polled 100 people, 90 might even say it doesn’t exist. But when Cocalico junior Emily Stauffer broke a 34-year old Lancaster County record last Saturday at Lebanon Valley College, it caught everyone’s attention.
All she did was defeat last year’s State champion Courtney McCartney of Selinsgrove and last year’s State runner-up Jocelen Ruth of Kutztown, plus 56 other competitors. And this was less than a year after dislocating her shoulder and tearing her labrum while lifting weights.
The injury caused Stauffer, a right handed shot put specialist, to throw left handed for the entire 2014 spring season.
Saturday’s record-breaking throw traveled 47 feet, 10 inches, a full two feet more than McCaskey’s Nicey Houston (45-10) did at the 1981 L-L League championship meet. The reason the two foot difference is significant? Her margin of victory on Saturday was an inch and a half.
“I was cleared for heavy lifting in late September,” said Stauffer by phone late Monday afternoon. “The weight training started as soon as the field hockey season was over and my throwing started in November.”
Her first test came December 19 at Kutztown where she outdistanced Ruth and 28 others on her home turf.
So what does her week look like, in this comeback winter track season?
“Mondays and Fridays I throw with Coach Scott Krall at the Reamstown Elementary School,” explained Stauffer. “On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays we lift weights. Wednesday also includes throwing technique drills.”
Stauffer also talked about the journey back from the surgery which drastically changed her sophomore spring season.
“After the surgery I just did drills,” she explained. “The left handed throwing actually cross-trained me to develop the muscles on both sides.”
That southpaw effort wasn’t too bad as Stauffer finished sixth in the L-L meet and 13th at the District Three competition.
“By June, I was throwing a one pound shot with my right hand,” added Stauffer. “I did a lot of throwing drills with Pro-Care trainer Bill Knapp. In July it was a six pounder and by late August I was back to the competition eight-pound shot.”
The physical comeback was one thing. The mental part was another.
“My shoulder is definitely 100 percent,” says Stauffer. “The first time I did a power-clean (lift), it didn’t hurt, but it made me nervous. I wasn’t used to the weight.”
And the shot?
“When I started to throw ‘righty’ again, I was so scared that I barely pushed on it. It took me a while to get back into it,” she said.
When asked what the casual fan might not know about the shot put event, Stauffer replied, “Probably all of the position technique. Getting in the right position creates the power to throw.”
With the injury behind her, how does she feel physically?
“I’m probably at 70 or 80 percent,” she said. “I want to become more consistent between now and the spring (outdoor) season.”
Stauffer will have several indoor opportunities between now and then. This Saturday is another meet in Kutztown. On January 24, she travels to New York and the New Balance Games. The big Pennsylvania meet occurs on March 7 at Penn State’s indoor facility.
As a measuring stick, Stauffer’s throw last Saturday at LVC was the second best in the country, a scant five inches behind Missouri teen Sophia Rivera.
“I would love to throw 50 feet and win both state titles,” Stauffer said of her goals this year.
Asked if she keeps track of her competition, she replied, “Oh yeah!”
Should she hit the 50-foot mark, she may find her name at the top of a couple of additional record books.


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