NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- As ground is broken for the new throwing facilities on Westminster College’s campus, one is left to wonder what the grounds will include. There will be at least one place to throw for shot put, discus and javelin; one event associated with collegiate throwing will be left out though: hammer.
The hammer throw is, in Mirriam-Webster Dictionary’s terms, a field event in which a usually 16-pound metal sphere attached to a flexible handle is thrown for distance. This event occurs within a hammer cage which is typically comprised of a cement circle on the ground with a tall, netted “cage” surrounding it. Individuals across the world compete in this event as it shows up not only collegiately, but also Olympically. Unfortunately for students in the PAC, they do not have the opportunity to regularly compete in this event as the conference does not include it as a scored event, although it is an NCAA sanctioned sport.
Recently, coaches and athletic directors in the PAC voted on whether or not to add the hammer throw to their list of scored events that students can compete in, but the motion was not approved. This was an interesting move as Allegheny College will be added to the PAC with the facilities to throw hammer on their campus and athletes experienced in the event.
“It was an event that wasn’t approved at the conference level for various reasons. There were a lot of schools that were concerned with the safety of it and just didn’t want to approve it,” Westminster College’s athletic director, Jason Lener, said.
Due to the addition of the hammer throw not being approved, a hammer cage was not added into the plans for the new throwing area. Lener did say that a hammer cage could be added in the future; this would likely be prompted by hammer throw being voted in as a PAC event.
For now, students here at Westminster College hope for the addition of the hammer throw as junior track and field member, Katie Henningsen says, “I’d love to see how I’d do with it if I got more time to practice.”
Coach McNeil is also poses as supporter of the addition of the hammer throw to the PAC as he stated that he believes hammer “could be a huge recruiting tool.” Lener supports the addition as well.
Regardless of the support for hammer throw here on Westminster College’s campus, it unfortunately is not hammer time for the PAC.