Track is an individual sport, but there are certain athletes who elevate their teammates with their leadership ability. Ashley Larson does just that; she leads her teammates on and off the field with encouragement and pushes them to do their best.
She walked onto the track team in 2006 and provided an instant spark of enthusiasm to the throwers on the team. Larson leads by example, with her constant hard work and effort that she uses everyday to better herself and her teammates.
Both of her parents are graduates of SDSU, and that helped influence her to come be a Jackrabbit. A call from current coach Jessica Sommerfeld while Larson was still in high school encouraged her to walk on to the team.
Being a walk-on athlete means no guarantee for a spot on the team or a scholarship. Larson, a sophomore health promotion major competes for the love of the sport because she wants to excel on and off the field.
Larson competes in the shot and hammer weight for the Jackrabbits; she will also compete next year in the weight throw.
On April 13, Larson broke her own personal records in the hammer and shot-put throws in wet conditions at the Bison Open in Fargo, N.D. She threw the hammer 97’4″ and the shot put 36’10 1/4.”
“The Bison Open went well yesterday (April 13). When throwing hammer, we had to use planks to get to the ring so we didn’t get our feet soaked, but once we were in the ring it was all about throwing,” Larson said.
Ashley also earned a sixth place finish for shot put at the Vance Butler Invitational in Sioux Falls on April 5.
While only a freshman, Ashley earned Athlete of the Month for December 2006.
She continues to get better and hopes her junior season will be even more successful than this season.
“Track next year holds all new goals in all three of my events: shot put, hammer throw and weight throw,” Larson said. “I also expect greater competition from not only me but from all of my teammates and new arrivals coming on board. I believe that the next few years the throws team will have some pretty stout competitors.”
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#1.882576:1508696723.jpg:ashley larson.jpg:Ashley Larson: