For The Tribune
Laura Koester began throwing the shot put and discus in seventh grade as a member of the Seymour Middle School track and field teams.
She has continued to throw both implements at Seymour High School and has decided discus is her favorite event.
“I like discus just because it’s more technique with how you throw it than shot put,” Koester said. “Shot put is just kind of pure force. Last year I hit 90 (feet). I’ve hit the 80 (foot) mark this year, but I haven’t been able to get past it because we haven’t had very many meets, so it’s kind of hard to get the good marks in.”
Koester said she has different approaches to release her throws.
“I spin in discus but I glide in shot,” she said. “It’s kind of like two spins to one spin, I guess, because you spin your right leg around to the center and you pivot on your right leg and then you throw (the discus).”
The senior’s longest throw in a meet in the shot this year was 28-02, at the Jennings County sectional.
“You just can’t get up there and throw it,” Koester said. “You’ve really got to think about what you are doing, otherwise you will break your wrist.
“We’re pushing up for shot put, and for discus our arm is out the whole time. I’d say we use more of our elbow for power in shot put, and for discus we kind of use our shoulder. You have to keep your center of balance in between your feet so then once you do follow through with it, you’re center of weight is still inside the circle, and you’re not putting all of your weight with the shot put, so you don’t throw yourself out.”
Koester said you don’t want to get off-balance and step out of the circle and scratch when you throw both.
“A lot of people, when they throw, they watch where the shot put lands,” She said. “You’re supposed to throw it, and then kind of turn around so that you’re looking back down at the ground so your weight is always in the circle.
“The same thing with discus, except whenever you spin in discus it’s more about the placement of your body. I’d say it’s easier to keep your balance in shot put than it is in discus because discus is kind of a full body movement of when you turn.”
When Koester releases the shot, she looks for something in the middle of the landing area — a target — to throw to so she doesn’t throw out of bounds.
In discus, she aims for a tree.
“I feel like the third throw is almost always my best, just because the first two throws are getting the marks down, and making sure you don’t scratch, and making sure you score,” Koester said. “The third and fourth throws are the ones where you kind of go all out.
When she takes the field, Koester always tries to keep a positive mindset.
“It’s always good to have a good mental attitude for everything, especially in track,” Koester said. “I know in team sports you’re encouraging everyone and you want your team to do well, so it’s always good to be positive. Even if you don’t win, you want your team to win.”
Name: Laura Koester
Parents: Karen and Greg Koester
Sports: Track and field, four years
Organizations: National Honor Society, Renaissance Club, Latin Club, Student Government, Broadway Club, school newspaper
Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University, study informational systems and corporate innovations
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite TV show: “NCIS”
Favorite singer: Nikki Minaj
Favorite movie: “Good Will Hunting”
Favorite team: Indiana Pacers
Q: Why did you choose to go to Seymour High School?
A: “My brother came to Seymour and he told me it would probably be better. I almost went to Trinity because most of the people out of my class at Immanuel went there. But I’m so glad I went to Seymour. I feel there are more leadership opportunities here, and not just in sports. There are more AP classes, and there is more chances for you to get dual credit, so that’s less classes I have to take in college.”
Q: What’s a track meet like for a thrower?
A: “A lot of people don’t really understand what we do for throwing, They come out watch the runners and they know who wins because they can see who is in first. It’s fun when people ask you, ‘Was that a good throw? Was that a good length?’ Just because they don’t know, so it’s’ kind of fun to explain to everyone what’s going on.
Q: Favorite away track?
A: “I like to throw at (Columbus) North. North discus isn’t my favorite, but I love the North shot put ring.”